PHOENIX — Phoenix police are sounding the alarm on a scary new trend.
As if fentanyl wasn’t dangerous enough, now they’re finding rainbow-colored fentanyl pills around the city, potentially making it more marketable for kids.
“It’s cheap, easy to obtain and you don’t need a lot of money. Kids with allowance money could buy little pills,” explains Phoenix Police Officer Kenneth Silvia who specializes in drug cases.
It comes in different colors, meant to look just like candy, and even goes by the name “Skittles” on the street, but there’s nothing sweet about these tiny, potentially lethal pills.
“Kids can see them and think they are just a regular candy and pop them in their mouth not knowing it’s fentanyl,” Silvia said.
And they may not know they’re dangerous or possibly deadly either. It’s an alarming trend Officer Silvia has seen in just the past month.
“It’s so easy to have. It’s everywhere. Good neighborhoods. High-crime neighborhoods. It’s easily accessible. It’s cheap. And it’s easy to conceal. Any age range; it doesn’t matter.”
And that goes for all fentanyl – even the blue kind officers are used to seeing. In recent years, Phoenix police have seen a huge surge in all fentanyl cases.
We got our hands on some new data, showing the number of fentanyl cases in Phoenix.
In 2017, the Phoenix Police Department worked just 42 cases, but by 2021, they worked more than 100 times that. The concern is that this year could be even worse.
“Are you guys on track to see a record-breaking year when it comes to fentanyl?” ABC15 asked.
Officer Silvia responded, “Yes. Absolutely.”
“Without a doubt?” ABC15 asked.
“Yes,” Officer Silvia said.
We asked Phoenix police how many rainbow fentanyl pills they’ve confiscated so far in the past month. While the majority of pills are still the blue variety, we were told police have still taken “thousands” of the rainbow pills off of the streets.
Report a typo
Police speaking out about dangers of 'rainbow fentanyl' found in Phoenix – ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix