About 12,000 suspected fentanyl pills packaged in popular candy boxes were seized at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, authorities said.
Someone tried to get through the TSA checkpoint with multiple bags of candy and snacks, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. But there was no candy inside the boxes marked SweetTarts, Skittles and Whoppers, the sheriff’s department said. Instead, they contained what authorities believe to be thousands of the dangerous pills.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, and up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Just two milligrams of fentanyl — about the size of 10 to 15 grains of table salt — is considered a lethal dose.
“The suspect fled prior to being apprehended by law enforcement, but he has been identified and the investigation is ongoing,” the department stated.
Federal authorities and local law enforcement have been warning of the dangers of fentanyl for months, with the DEA warning that “one pill can kill.”
The agency’s lab tests have found that four out of 10 fentanyl pills contain a potentially lethal dose, and the agency and local law enforcement have been seizing the pills at a record rate, the DEA said.