Authorities on Wednesday seized 12,000 suspected fentanyl pills that had been stuffed inside candy boxes at Los Angeles International Airport, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.

At around 7:30 a.m. local time, a suspect tried to go through security with several bags of candy and “miscellaneous snacks,” the sheriff’s department said. It was then discovered that the bags of candy, which included wrappers for Skittles, Whoppers and Sweetarts, were filled with pills believed to be fentanyl.

The suspect fled before they could be apprehended, the sheriff’s department said, adding that the suspect has been identified, and “the investigation is ongoing.” 

A Whoppers candy box filled with pills suspected to be fentanyl that was seized at Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times more powerful than heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021, with synthetic opioids like fentanyl accounting for two-thirds of those, about 71,000.