For the first time, Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force officers discover “rainbow” fentanyl.

The “rainbow” fentanyl pills discovered in Mankato last week were the first ever detected and impounded in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Agents from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force recovered three M30 tablets on September 16. Agents tested the tablets in the field and discovered that they contained fentanyl. In the seizure on Friday, task force officers came into contact for the first time with the vividly coloured pills that, according to Drug Enforcement Administration authorities, can be mistaken for candy. The fentanyl tablets that had previously been seized were all blue.

In late August, the DEA issued a public alert about multicoloured fentanyl pills that were being marketed to younger age groups.

“It’s a very dangerous substance. It’s 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine,”  according to Kris Keltgen, operations manager of the Mankato Mayo Clinic EMS service.

The task force’s commander, Lt. Jeff Wersal, said that blue pills now come in a variety of colours when warning the public about how deadly they are and to avoid taking them.

Southern Minnesota has seen an upsurge in the quantity of fentanyl seizures. According to Wersal, 4,000 individual fentanyl tablets have been discovered so far this year, compared to 12 individual pills discovered in 2021.

Anyone who comes into contact with fentanyl, in any form, is advised by the Drug Enforcement Administration not to handle it and to dial 911 right once. One tablet can kill, they also caution.

*image does not represent actual scenario.