On Thursday, DEA officials warned parents that the department has been finding “rainbow fentanyl” in Washington, D.C., for the past 18 months, WTTG-TV reported. The dangerous pills resembled colorful candy.
The DEA’s Field Intelligence Manager Jennifer Lofland told the news channel that her biggest concern “is that the pills seem to be marketed specifically to a younger age group.” Lofland urged parents to talk to their children about the dangers of consuming pills that have not been prescribed.
Lofland reported that the DEA tested the confiscated pills and found that many had been laced with methamphetamines and animal tranquilizers. “Some of the multi-colored pills that we’ve been testing in our labs recently, particularly a recent batch that appeared to be children’s chewable vitamins, were tested by our lab as containing both fentanyl and methamphetamine.”
On Wednesday, 15,000 fentanyl pills were seized by Customs and Border Protection agents in Arizona. Nogales Port of Entry authorities said they discovered the pills strapped to someone’s leg, WTTG-TV reported.
Port Director Michael W. Humphries stated on Twitter that the fentanyl pills had “the appearance of candy.” He warned that it could be “the start of a trend with Transnational Criminal Organizations targeting younger users.”
One day prior, Nogales border patrol agents seized 250,000 fentanyl pills, 11 pounds of heroin, and 10 pounds of methamphetamine. Authorities reported that some of those fentanyl pills also resembled candy.
For Humphries and Nogales border patrol agents, fentanyl seizures have become a regular occurrence. On August 9, they discovered another 70,000 pills. Additionally, authorities reported that over a seven-day period at the end of July, they seized approximately 1.1 million fentanyl pills.
During a drug bust in Oregon this week, law enforcement seized 800 “rainbow fentanyl” pills, four grams of powdered fentanyl, meth, and heroin. Authorities warned that the fentanyl seemed similar to children’s chalk in color and consistency, KPTV reported.
Special Investigation Unit Sergeant Matt Ferguson stated, “The public needs to be aware of the rising use of powdered fentanyl. We believe this is going to be the new trend seen on the streets of Portland.”
In a public statement, Oregon’s Multnomah County health department officials said, “It only takes 2 milligrams of fentanyl — about the weight of a few grains of salt — to cause a fatal overdose.”
Earlier this week, Fox News reported that fentanyl seizures were up 200% in July. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded over 2,100 pounds of fentanyl had been confiscated in July, whereas 700 pounds had been seized in June.