Breaking News
More () »

DEA, police find 15,000 rainbow fentanyl pills in New York City

One person has been arrested and police seized approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills in New York City.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — The United States Drug Enforcement Agency, New York State Police, and NYPD announced Tuesday a large bust of 'rainbow' fentanyl In New York City.

One person has been arrested and police seized approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills

Investigators say the pills, which were in a variety of colors, were concealed in a LEGO box.  The fentanyl pills were imprinted with an "M" and "30" to resemble Oxycodone/Hydrochloride 30mg pills. 

The bust is the largest to date seizure of fentanyl in New York City and there could be a widespread distribution of these rainbow pills, officials say. 

Law enforcement was conducting surveillance on September 28 as part of an ongoing investigation when they observed Letesha Bush carrying what appeared to be a black bag wrapped around a large object as she entered a vehicle.

Police stopped the vehicle and say they found Bush in the back seat with two black tote bags and a yellow LEGO container. Inside the container were several packages covered in black tape lying next to the LEGO blocks.  One of the packages was partially open, exposing the rainbow-color pills. 

Credit: DEA

Agents say Bush had recently traveled from New Jersey to Manhattan in a rental car and the rainbow fentanyl pills allegedly came from Mexico. 

The DEA says the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel are mass-producing these pills in various colors brand their products, as well as to mimic candy or legal prescription drugs

“Rainbow fentanyl is a clear and present danger, and it is here in New York City,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino, in a release.  “Approximately forty percent of the pills we analyze in our lab contain a lethal dose; and in a recent 15-week enforcement operation, DEA New York seized half a million lethal pills. These staggering statistics underscore the importance of reminding the public that just one pill can kill, and this operation alone removed the equivalent of 500,000 lethal doses of fentanyl from circulation in the Empire State. In the same reporting period, DEA seized the equivalent of over 36 million lethal doses nationally.” 

“Disguising fentanyl as candy – and concealing it in children’s toys – will never hide the fact that fentanyl is a deadly poison that harms our communities, our families, and our city,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “The criminal complaint unsealed today is another example of the NYPD’s relentless commitment to never stop working to rid New York City of illegal drugs and I want to thank the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, the DEA New York Division, the New York State Police, and everyone else involved in this case for their exceptional work.”

Bush has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees.  Bush was arraigned in court on September 30.  Bail was set at $25,000 cash or $150,000 insurance bond. 

The DEA is doing lab analysis of the pills, but preliminary testing indicated there was a presence of fentanyl. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out