NewsLocal News


Fentanyl hitting the streets in new forms, looks, Colorado law enforcement warns

Tesla pills fentanyl
Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 22, 2023

DENVER — DENVER — Fentanyl is hitting the streets in new shapes, colors and forms, Colorado law enforcement warned Thursday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the US Attorney's Office and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) are working together to alert the community about alarming new trends with the deadly drug.

Tesla pills fentanyl

According to authorities, fentanyl is being packaged with an influx of substances, making it more potent and deadlier than ever. Cartels are using new tactics to make the drug marketable to new users.

“It’s about one word — greed," said David Olesky with the DEA Rocky Mountain Division. "The cartels don’t value life. They value money."

Fentanyl was once known to law enforcement as a tiny blue pill. Now, it’s hitting the streets in a variety of colors and being marketed as a party drug, with names like TikTok, Tesla and Amazon Prime.

Amazon pills fentanyl

“When I start talking about fentanyl, it’s an opioid just like heroin. But if I go to a group of youth and show a photo of an individual injecting heroin, they will cringe. However, if I show them an image of a pill, there is no reaction to it. There is no stigma,” Olesky said.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is the leading cause of overdoses. The drug killed 1,800 Coloradans last year.

Law enforcement is concerned due to the plummeting prices for fentanyl, which means more of the drug ends up on our streets.

“A kid can go on social media, order up these pills and have it delivered to their doorstep,” Olesky said.

TikTok pills fentanyl

Agencies are recovering fentanyl in more concentrated bulk powder and even as a nasal spray. They say it’s being mixed with other drugs like Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer.

In the first three months of this year, law enforcement seized nearly 50% of what they seized in all of 2022.

“We are seeing an increase presence of loads seized in neighboring states that were destined for the Denver metro — loads seized in Utah, Mexico and Texas that were coming to Denver,” said CSP Col. Matthew Packard.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.