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DEA officials seize 300,000 "rainbow fentanyl" pills in New York City bust

300,000 "rainbow fentanyl" pills seized in Bronx
300,000 "rainbow fentanyl" pills seized in Bronx 00:16

Drug enforcement officials seized some 300,000 "rainbow fentanyl" pills from an apartment in New York City's Bronx neighborhood. The announcement came several days after authorities said they had seized thousands of the rainbow-colored pills in Manhattan. 

In a joint press release Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration and New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor said authorities found more than 20 pounds of powdered fentanyl, a semi-automatic assault weapon, a hydraulic door opener, three scales and 11 GPS devices, in addition to the pills, while conducting a court-authorized search of an apartment in the Bronx on Oct. 7.

Drug enforcement officials seized some 300,000 "rainbow fentanyl" pills from a drug stash location in the Bronx. The DEA and New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor

Erickson Lorenzo, 30, and Jefry Rodriguez-Pichardo, 32, both of the Bronx, were in the apartment at the time and were arrested. They were each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. The two were arraigned and are currently being held on $1 million bond, the press release said. 

During the seizure, law enforcement found approximately 22 pounds of fentanyl in powdered form wrapped in clear plastic packaging in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, the press release said.

Meanwhile, the pills — which were sorted by color and stored in large ziplock bags — were found in two hallway closets and in Lorenzo's bedroom. Up to 100,000 pills of all colors and shapes were found mixed together in a large black garbage bag, according to the press release. 

Several of the pills were altered to pass off as legitimate oxycodone and Xanax pills, the press release added. The drugs are currently being analyzed in a DEA lab, but preliminary testing indicated the presence of fentanyl.

First reported in February, the rainbow-colored pills have been seized in at least 21 states, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said last month. While fentanyl is still more commonly disguised as oxycodone or another prescription drug, officials say the rainbow pills are on the rise. 

"This investigation uncovered a trove of dangerous 'rainbow fentanyl' pills worth up to $6 million on the street, plus an estimated $3 million in powdered fentanyl," Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said in a statement. "Fentanyl pills are masquerading in many different forms, and our city is flooded with them. Any street drug, whether it looks like a legitimate pharmaceutical or like candy, may be fentanyl, and it may be lethal."

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