Authorities on Wednesday seized about 12,000 suspected fentanyl pills that were found packaged in several bags of what appeared to be candy at Los Angeles International Airport.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department narcotics detectives and DEA agents assigned to the airport responded to a TSA screening area around 7:30 a.m. after a person tried to go through with bags of candy and other snacks, officials said in a news release.
Authorities found the pills inside boxes of Sweetarts, Skittles and Whoppers.
The suspected trafficker fled but has been identified, authorities said.
Authorities have recently warned that drug dealers have been disguising fentanyl in candy wrappers and manufacturing them in rainbow colors in order to disguise them from authorities.
In its news release, the LA County Sheriff’s Department warned of the potential for the pills to be confused with candy.
“With Halloween approaching, parents need to make sure they are checking their kids candy and not allowing them to eat anything until it has been inspected by them,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
But despite fears that drug dealers are deliberately pushing fentanyl on trick-or-treaters, many experts argued that there is a very low possibility of any danger in Halloween candy, WVNS reported.
Joel Best, a sociology professor at the University of Delaware, has been researching this exact topic for decades, and has not been presented with any evidence “that any child has ever been killed or seriously injured by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating,” he told PBS’ The Conversation earlier this month.
There is one standout example, however, of a child dying after ingesting cyanide-laced Pixie Stix, WVSN reported. The child’s father, in that case, was ultimately arrested and charged with his son’s murder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.