Fentanyl shaped to resemble heart candy seized in massive drug bust

LYNN, Mass. – Three men are behind bars after authorities seized more than $8 million worth of illicit drugs, including pink fentanyl-laced pills shaped like hearts.

Courtesy: U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the bust in Lynn, Massachusetts, is believed to be one of the largest single-location seizures in New England history. Of the estimated 10 million doses seized, 8 million are fentanyl and methamphetamine-laced pills and powder.

Courtesy: U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts

“The only thing more depraved than trafficking deadly fentanyl is trafficking deadly fentanyl designed to look like candy to appeal to teenagers,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

This 220-pound drug bust comes amid more reports and seizures of fentanyl shaped to look like candy. The Drug Enforcement Administration sent out an alert last year, warning about brightly-colored fentanyl used to target young Americans.

“Rainbow” fentanyl
Courtesy: Drug Enforcement Administration

“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,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

“Rainbow” fentanyl
Courtesy: Drug Enforcement Administration

The three men who have been arrested in connection with the massive Lynn drug bust are accused of running a large-scale drug trafficking organization on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The US Attorney’s Office says the three-month investigation into 25-year-old Emilio Garcia, 33-year-old Sebastien Bejin, and 40-year-old Deiby Felix began after an overdose death in Salem, Massachusetts. 

“This seizure by the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force saved lives in communities throughout Massachusetts,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “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.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 111,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses and fentanyl poisonings within one year. It has become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

Many schools are now taking precautions after an increase in students overdosing. As Emily’s Hope reported last week, Virginia’s governor has even issued an executive order after nine students overdosed at a single high school within a month.

“The doses of controlled substances seized in this case exceed the number of residents in Massachusetts,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts. “The fact that we now are seeing fentanyl-laced pills pressed to resemble candy only underscores the urgency of this fentanyl crisis.”

According to court papers, here’s what authorities found in the basement of a two-family residential home, where several families lived, including ones with young kids.

  • More than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of white powder and rock-like substances tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine;
  • More than 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of suspected raw methamphetamine, which equates to approximately more than 3.5 million individual doses;
  • Approximately 280,000 counterfeit Percocet pills, believed to contain fentanyl, weighing 28 kilograms (61 pounds) with a street value in the range of approximately $1.4 million to more than $7 million;
  • More than 27 kilograms (59 pounds) of counterfeit Adderall pills, believed to contain methamphetamine
  • Approximately 1.8 kilograms (four pounds) of brown rock and powder-like substances tested positive for cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine. This quantity of fentanyl equates to about 900,000 individual doses.