Police find rainbow fentanyl disguised in Tic Tac container during Marysville drug arrest
MARYSVILLE, Wash. - The Marysville Police Department is issuing a warning about the possibility of rainbow fentanyl circulating in the community after arresting a man they say had nearly 200 pills in his pocket.
The pills were found wrapped in packaging designed to look like a Tic Tac container.
Officers say there is a concern that if these are found sitting out somewhere in the community, kids or an adult might eat these pills, not knowing what they are.
"The likelihood that one of these could contain a lethal dose of fentanyl is very high," said TJ San Miguel, the public information officer with the Marysville Police Department. "A very small tiny little rice-grain-size of fentanyl can kill somebody."
The pills were found in the fake Tic Tac container after police searched a man's pockets during "Operation Clean Sweep" in the Lakewood area. Investigators seized 28 grams of meth along with the candy-like pills during that sweep.
"I think that’s the concern is the color is something that a kid might be drawn to," said San Miguel.
She says this is the first time she's found rainbow fentanyl in Marysville and, if appropriate, families might want to consider having a conversation about this new twist on a deadly drug.
"I think it’s reasonable for parents to have a conversation if they feel like they feel like it’s appropriate for their own child and where they are in their development about this," said San Miguel. "Understanding that beyond the, ‘We don’t take candy from strangers’ conversation and elevate that to, ‘Hey, we don’t put things in our mouth that we don’t know what they are’."
David Dickinson, the regional director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, estimates that there are more than 9 million people using opioids in the US. Only about 1 in 10 of those will actually seek treatment.
Last fall, the Biden-Harris administration awarded $1.6 billion in funds for communities to start to address the overdose crisis.
"I have to remain hopeful that we will turn a corner on this and that rather than focusing on the deaths that have occurred as sad and as powerful as those are that we will begin to focus on the lives that have been saved," said Dickinson.
Operation Clean Sweep resulted in eight arrests for various crimes, 37 contacts, 3 drug referrals and one seized car, belonging to the man found with the rainbow fentanyl.
San Miguel carries NARCAN Nasal Spray in her pocket in case she encounters someone who has overdosed and needs the life-saving medication.
"This has just been a problem in western Washington, Snohomish County, just the whole state for a while, and this creates a bigger issue, I think," said San Miguel.
She says the street value for one pill is often as low as $1.00.