New York drug officials nabbed 15,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl pills hidden inside Lego boxes this week, triggering a new wave of fears over the Sweet Tart-looking death tablets just weeks before Halloween.
As young children all over the country pick out costumes to wear door-to-door taking candy from strangers, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 48-year-old Latesha Bush, a New Jersey resident, after she was caught in a rental car in Manhattan carting piles of drugs stuffed inside Lego boxes next to the little plastic blocks. Bush was reportedly trying to make a drop on 10th Avenue near the Lincoln Tunnel.
The bust, estimated to have a street value of about $300,000 and packing enough power to kill half a million people, marks the largest seizure of rainbow fentanyl so far in New York.
The brightly colored pills started popping up in New York in February, terrifying the bejeezus out of parents across the country and prompting experts to warn of the pills being marketed to kids like Pez candies. Drug officials say the stuff originates in China but is put together and funneled into the country by Mexican cartels, and is about 50 times more potent than heroin. The distinctive pills are marked with an “M” and number 30 to appear like OxyCodone.
More than 71,000 people died of fentanyl overdoses in 2021.