Former DEA official warns parents after fentanyl found disguised in candy wrappers

Derek Maltz, former director of special operations at the DEA, has warned parents to educate themselves about the national fentanyl crisis after authorities seized 15,000 pills disguised as candy in Connecticut.

With Halloween just weeks away, the DEA is warning parents that deadly rainbow-colored pills could be marketed to children. The recent seizure in Connecticut found the drugs hidden in Skittles and Nerds packaging.

“We’re seeing unprecedented numbers of children dying as young as 13,” Maltz said on “PKB & Friends” Tuesday.

“And we now know, according to the DEA, that 40% of the pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.”

Maltz explained to host Ainsley Earhardt that cartels are cashing in on teens’ obsession with the internet by selling the drugs on social media platforms. The children targeted in these sales, Maltz noted, may not know better.

Maltz encouraged parents to seek educational materials from the DEA and other nonprofits on what to look for as Halloween approaches.

“They have to be proactive,” he said.

“It’s deadly fentanyl, and it’s flooding our streets like we’ve never seen before.”

Maltz advised concerned parents to open any suspicious candy wrappers and notify police if drugs are found. He said that the material must be disposed of immediately.

Fentanyl pills were disguised as candy like Nerds and Skittles.
Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office

“Stay away because it’s poison. It’s really dangerous,” he said.

Maltz added that schools must get involved in addressing the crisis, and he called on the Biden administration to act with a sense of urgency.

The United States has seen synthetic opioid-related deaths rise from 6,000 in 2015 to more than 63,000 in 2021, with fentanyl being the main contributing factor. Some counties reportedly ran out of mortuary space due to fentanyl deaths.

“It’s not a drug problem, it’s mass poisoning,” he said.

“We are losing a future generation – 300 a day.”

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