Authorities in California have issued a warning to parents ahead of Halloween celebrations after approximately 12,000 fentanyl pills packaged in several popular candy boxes were seized at Los Angeles International Airport.
“With Halloween approaching, parents need to make sure they are checking their kids’ candy and not allowing them to eat anything until it has been inspected by them,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.
“If you find anything in candy boxes that you believe might be narcotics, do not touch it and immediately notify your local law enforcement agency,” the agency added.
The giant seizure of the deadly synthetic opioid happened on Oct. 19 after narcotic detectives and agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stopped a suspect who was attempting to pass the airport’s security screening with several bags of candy and miscellaneous snacks.
Upon investigating the packages, authorities “discovered that inside the ‘Sweetarts,’ ‘Skittles,’ and ‘Whoppers’ candy boxes were fentanyl pills,” the release said.
The suspected drug trafficker managed to flee the scene before being detained by law enforcement, officials said, noting that the suspect has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s narcotics bureau at (562) 946-7125.
Narcotic detectives seized about 12,000 suspected fentanyl pills that were packaged in bags of candy at Los Angeles International Airport in California on Oct. 19, 2022. (Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)
Fentanyl Deaths on the Rise
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. As little as two milligrams is potentially enough to be lethal.
An increasing number of Mexican cartels have been importing fentanyl from China before pressing it into pills or mixing it into other counterfeit pills made to look like Xanax, Adderall, or oxycodone. The drugs are then sold to unaware buyers in the United States.