PORTLAND, Maine — Editor's note: The video above aired on Feb. 4, 2022.
Maine drug enforcement officials say drugs shaped like candy or vitamins were seized last month in Cumberland County, prompting them to warn that traffickers may be targeting young people.
Officials seized methamphetamine and green and purple pills shaped like candy or vitamin-like alien heads and hand grenades, according to a release from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The pills contained fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 800 to 1,000 times stronger than morphine.
Officials said they'd found a direct connection between fentanyl-related overdose deaths and criminal drug networks in Mexico that mass produce fentanyl and fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills using chemicals, some from China, that are then distributed in the United States.
According to the MDEA, four out of 10 counterfeit pills contain at least 2 milligrams of fentanyl, considered to be a deadly amount.