Deadly candy: Halloween fears soar as rainbow-colored fentanyl is disguised as Skittles or Nerds

With Halloween on the way, a recent seizure of 15,000 fentanyl pills disguised as popular candies had one former DEA official urging President Joe Biden to recognize the stakes at hand.

“This is not a drug issue. It’s a mass poisoning.”

(Video: Fox News)

So said former DEA special operations director Derek Maltz when he joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday following the news of a recent drug bust in Connecticut.

The seizure announced Friday by the Department of Justice involved the arrest of two Maryland men, Oscar Flores, 34, and Severe Alelar, 25, who were arrested Sept. 8 in Rocky Hill, Conn., as part of an undercover operation.

“Trafficking fentanyl is already and undoubtedly a serious offense, but one doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to consider how disguising fentanyl pills in children’s candy packaging, as we allege, can result in even more tragic consequences in the community,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Avery said in a statement regarding the arrest of Flores and Alelar who were said to have had 15,000 fentanyl pills in their SUV disguised in Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of kids dying as young as 13 years old,” Maltz told Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt as he asserted that the entirety of the illicit drug trade had been tainted by the synthetic toxin. “And we know now, the DEA says, that 40 percent of the pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.”

The former director went on to caution about social media being used by the cartels to target young people as he urged the White House, which has so far been challenged for Biden’s ineffectiveness to address the border crisis, to take action, “This is not a drug issue. It’s a mass poisoning.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Boyle of New England said after the Connecticut bust, “Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEAs top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities so every time we take pills containing fentanyl off the streets, lives are undoubtedly saved.”

Though Biden has appeared to fail at addressing the serious concerns espoused by the DEA, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) recently issued an executive order to further Operation Lone Star officially recognizing Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat them as such.

Instead of taking charge of the situation in a fashion similar to the governor, the White House has defended its complicity in the reported 107,000+ drug overdoses in 2021, at least 71,000 of which were attributed to fentanyl and related compounds, a tenfold increase since 2015.

“We see those same numbers as well,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had said after “rainbow fentanyl” was discovered in at least 18 states. “But the fact [is] that we’re, you know, we are securing the border.”

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram noted of the problem, “Rainbow fentanyl–fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes–is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”

“The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States,” she added.

Maltz went on to lament, “We’re losing a future generation–300 a day.”

As part of their “One Pill Can Kill Initiative” to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl, the DEA released a fact sheet to help concerned parents identify the risks.


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