Hayward Police Seize Over 700 Fentanyl Pills, Warn They Look Like Candy

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Hayward police said they’ve recovered over 700 multicolored pills they believe are fentanyl.

They may look like candy, shaped as skeletons, grenades and even Hello Kitty, but experts said just one of those pills can kill someone. 

“Some of the pills had Hello Kitty or skeleton-type designs to it,” said Cassondra Fovel of the Hayward Police Department. 

Several other narcotics and contraband were found by police during a traffic stop just weeks ago. Finds, they say, have increased in the past month. 

“Very small doses of fentanyl can be fatal, and that’s what's so scary about these pills,” said Fovel. “Especially given the fact that they look like candy even young kids could see this and think it's something that’s safe and it's really very dangerous.”

The DEA has been warning the public since late August, asking people to speak with their children after seizing brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states. 

Fentanyl is showing up in a new form and just like the old one, it’s one of the deadliest drugs on the streets. NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Wade Shannon, retired special agent in charge of the San Francisco field division of the DEA, for some insight.

They believe it’s “A deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction among kids and young adults.”

Michelle Leopold lost her 18-year-old son to fentanyl in 2020 and said Trevor was a freshman at Sonoma State and died in his sleep after taking one pill.

Since then, she’s been informing and helping others impacted by drugs. 

“Oh my heart sank seeing Hayward Police Department’s post,” said Leopold. “Even more reason now that these rainbow pills are out there and today's horrific discovery of the Hello Kitty and grenade and pirate, that's just atrocious and it's absolutely terrifying to think that they are actively going after younger kids.”

The nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl say in the last two years fentanyl fatalities have increased nearly five-fold in six states — including California.

Just last year—the golden state registered more than 5,000 fentanyl deaths.

”We need to do more about educating especially the young adults and also getting narcan out there everywhere, because you never know when you’ll be able to save a life,” said Leopold.

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