A New Jersey woman was arrested after authorities in New York discovered 15,000 pills of “rainbow fentanyl” stuffed inside a Lego box.
New York state drug authorities were investigating drug trafficking Sept. 28 when they observed 48-year-old Latesha Bush of Trenton, New Jersey, carrying a black tote bag wrapped around a large object as she entered a vehicle in Manhattan, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday.
Officials said officers stopped the vehicle and found Bush with two black tote bags and a Lego container in the back seat. Inside the container were brick-shaped packages covered in black type next to Lego blocks. Authorities said one of the packages was partially opened, revealing the rainbow-colored pills.
Preliminary testing indicated the pills contained fentanyl. Further investigation into the matter revealed Bush had travelled from New Jersey in a rental car, and the pills allegedly came from Mexico. The pills were imprinted with a “M” and “30” to resemble Oxycodone pills, authorities said.
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Officials said it was the largest fentanyl bust in New York City to date. Bush was arrested charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, both felonies.
“Rainbow fentanyl is a clear and present danger, and it is here in New York City,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said in a statement.
“Rainbow fentanyl” has become an increasing concern among law enforcement agencies throughout the country, who say the colorful, candy-looking synthetic opioid – which is much stronger than morphine – is targeting young people. Busts have been reported in Arizona, Oregon, California and Washington, D.C.
However, some health experts and toxicologists are viewing the rise of rainbow-colored fentanyl with caution, noting illicit drugs have featured bright colors for decades and the pills are clearly identified as pills, questioning if adolescents would actually mistake them for candy.
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