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Authorities seize thousands of suspected fentanyl pills hidden at Los Angeles airport

This image provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows suspected fentanyl pills seized at the Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Wednesday seized thousands of suspected fentanyl pills hidden in candy boxes at Los Angeles International Airport.

Someone tried to go through security screening with some snacks and bags of candy at about 7:30 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

"However, it was discovered that inside the 'Sweetarts', 'Skittles', and 'Whoppers' candy boxes were fentanyl pills," the statement said.

About 12,000 pills were seized by sheriff's detectives and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents assigned to a drug task force at the airport, authorities said.

The suspected trafficker fled but has been identified, authorities said.

Authorities recently have warned that drug dealers have been disguising fentanyl in candy wrappers and manufacturing them in rainbow colors.

"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.

Parents shouldn't touch any suspected drugs and should immediately call law enforcement, the department said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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