A woman from New Jersey was arrested by authorities when they discovered that she had brought over 15,000 rainbow fentanyl tablets into the city, many of which were concealed behind Lego pieces.
“These pills are hidden in pretty much anything imaginable. Traffickers are very innovative,” agent Frank A. Tarantino III said.
The law enforcement officials from the federal government stated the tablets looked like candy and had a variety of colors.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Tarantino said. “This is deliberate. This is calculated. This is treacherous deception to market rainbow fentanyl like candy.”
According to the city’s narcotics prosecutor, this seizure comes at a time when an overdose kills one person in each of the five boroughs of New York City every three hours.
“Overdose deaths are at a record high and 80% of them are related to fentanyl,” special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.
According to the prosecution, Mexican drug traffickers were responsible for the production of these tablets that were branded to look like oxycodone. Because of the tremendous potency of these chemicals, just a very small quantity is required to cause someone’s death.
“The lethality of fentanyl, we are talking two milligrams. That is the amount of fentanyl that can fit on the tip of a pencil. It’s approximately 10 to 20 grains of salt,” Tarantino said.
Investigators say that 40% of the pills they looked at have enough of a lethal dose to kill. During a recent 15-week operation, the state of New York found and seized 500,000 tablets that could kill in raids all over the state.
Because Halloween is coming up, the government is telling parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of these brightly colored drugs that could kill them.
“It is critically important to educate the public on this new form that fentanyl is taking across the country and yes, we know it is here in New York,” Brennan said.