Pink, heart-shaped fentanyl pills designed to look like Valentine’s Day candy were seized during a drug bust earlier this month in Massachusetts of a two-family residential home reportedly containing families and children.
An estimated 10 million “doses of controlled substances” were seized during the bust, according to the Department of Justice. Of the 10 million “doses,” at least eight million were “doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine laced pills and powder.”
The bust of over $8 million worth of drugs is considered to be “one of the largest single-location seizures of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Massachusetts and the region,” the DOJ said in a press release.
Over 220 Pounds of Suspected Controlled Substances Seized Including Pills Shaped to Resemble Heart Shaped Candy
Believed To Be One of The Largest Single-Location Seizures in New England
— U.S. Department of Justice (@TheJusticeDept) November 6, 2023
“The only thing more depraved than trafficking deadly fentanyl is trafficking deadly fentanyl designed to look like candy to appeal to teenagers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the press release.
“The Justice Department is focused on attacking every link in the global fentanyl trafficking chain, and we will not stop until those responsible for the fentanyl poisoning epidemic are brought to justice,” he added.
FBI Director Christopher Wray also issued a statement.
“This seizure by the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force saved lives in communities throughout Massachusetts. Not only was this seizure one of the largest in the history of Massachusetts, but some of the pills were created to look like candy, potentially presenting an enormous risk to children. The FBI will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in narcotics trafficking to keep drugs off our streets, and out of the hands of children,” he said.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts added, “The doses of controlled substances seized in this case exceed the number of residents in Massachusetts. The fact that we now are seeing fentanyl-laced pills pressed to resemble candy only underscores the urgency of this fentanyl crisis.”
Three men were arrested during the bust: Emilio Garcia, 25; Sebastien Bejin, 33; and Deiby Felix, 40. All three are reportedly scheduled to appear in court next week.
The investigation preceding the drug bust reportedly began following an overdose death in Salem four months ago.
“[I]n July 2023, an investigation into an overdose death in Salem, Massachusetts, led investigators to a [drug-trafficking organization] allegedly led by Garcia, Bejin, and Felix. The defendants were surveilled for three months, which culminated in search warrants at locations identified in the investigation, and their arrests on Wednesday, Nov. 1.,” according to the press release.
All this comes about a year after the DOJ issued a press release warning that drug traffickers were creating “brightly-colored fentanyl” in a bid to target children.
#ICYMI #DEA #LA on @ABC7 discussing a new trend of multi-colored #fentanyl pills & how the drug cartels are deceptively marketing these dangerous & addictive pills made to look like candy to young people in our communities.
— DEALosAngeles (@DEALOSANGELES) September 12, 2022
“Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk. Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case. Every color, shape, and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous,” the DOJ reported at the time.
“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,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram likewise said at the time.
“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.
All this also comes amid an opioid overdose epidemic that took 109,000 lives between March 2021 and March 2022, according to CNN. Of those deaths, two-thirds reportedly involved fentanyl.
Responding to the latest drug bust, X users expressed rare gratitude to the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation for actually doing their jobs.
— Vasiliki (@VasilikiM) November 7, 2023
Wow, scary!! Nail them! Good for the DOJ.
— Jane ☮️ (@jbutler2017) November 6, 2023
More of this, less restricting Americans rights please
— Christopher J (@DrMartylinguine) November 7, 2023
Holy cow…great work…thank you for getting this crap off the streets!!!
— akaBabeAware (@akababeaware) November 6, 2023
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