NEW YORK (WABC) – Fentanyl, packaged like candy and placed in LEGO boxes, became what federal narcotics agents on Tuesday called “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

The DEA and law enforcement partners announced the first significant seizure of so-called rainbow fentanyl. It happened on September 28, when agents and officers stopped a car on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel that contained 15,000 colorful pills.

“The pills look like candy,” New York City special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan said. “We believe it is very important to educate the public about this new form of fentanyl.”

Rainbow fentanyl began appearing on the streets of the West Coast in February and has gradually made its way across the country.

The colorful pills are like party drugs and need to be more attractive so the Mexican cartels responsible for their trade can develop a new market among young people, according to the DEA’s Frank Tarentino, who called it “newly packaged poison.”

“Fentanyl is everywhere and in everything,” Tarentino said, noting that some of the pills seized from the car were found in a yellow LEGO box.

The seized 15,000 pills are valued at $300,000. Letitia Bush of Trenton, New Jersey, was arrested on charges of first and third degree criminal possession.

The DEA said it’s important to sound the alarm about rainbow fentanyl ahead of Halloween because the pills can look like any regular candy.

READ ALSO | ‘2 milligrams: a fatal dose’: the crisis of fentanyl, America’s hidden killer

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