Thousands of multi-colored pills hidden in a Lego box were seized on 10th Avenue last week, in an operation that drug enforcement officers are calling the largest rainbow fentanyl bust in the city’s history.
The arrest was made last Wednesday evening, September 28, 2022, at approximately 7:11pm. Drugs officers were conducting surveillance as part of an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking when they allegedly observed a woman carrying what appeared to be a black tote bag wrapped around a large object as she got into a vehicle in front of 475 10th Avenue (between W36/37th Street) in Hell’s Kitchen.
The New Jersey woman, Latesha Bush, was stopped and two black tote bags and a yellow LEGO container were seized. According to cops, “inside the LEGO container were several brick-shaped packages covered in black tape lying next to LEGO blocks. The black tape covering one of the packages had been partially opened, exposing multi-colored pills inside. A subsequent examination of the packages revealed they contained approximately 15,000 pills.” Agents believe that the multi-colored fentanyl pills allegedly originated in Mexico.
“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 NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
Despite being disguised as candy, the US Drugs Enforcement Administraion (DEA) said in a press release that “approximately forty percent of the pills we analyzed in our lab contain a lethal dose.” NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan added: “Using happy colors to make a deadly drug seem fun and harmless is a new low, even for the Mexican cartels.” The DEA said that the fentanyl pills were also imprinted with “M” and “30” to resemble “30 M”, Oxycodone Hydrochloride 30 mg pills.
“This is treacherous deception to market rainbow fentanyl like candy. This is every parent’s worst nightmare, especially in the month of October. As Halloween fast approaches,” said Frank Tarentino, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New York Division, who led the bust.
Bush, of Trenton, NJ, was charged with drug possession, authorities said.