The leader of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sounded the alarm on the fentanyl crisis Wednesday as "rainbow fentanyl" - some of it disguised as candy - continues to impact communities.

Anne Milgram, the DEA administrator, warned against what she called the "greatest threat" facing Americans today on "America's Newsroom" as fentanyl poisoning deaths continue to climb. 

"We believe that the greatest threat facing our communities, our families, our kids is the deadly fentanyl that we are seeing in the United States that is brought here by the two cartels in Mexico," Milgram told co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino. 


"We just finished a four-month operational effort where we took 10 million fake fentanyl pills off the street that look like they're real pills, like they're oxy, or they're Percocet, or they're hydrocodone," she continued. "We also took almost 1,000 pounds of fentanyl. Why that's important, is the work of the men and women of DEA in less than four months, that amount of fentanyl is the equivalent of 36 million potential lethal doses."

Fentanyl compared to candy

Some of the 15,000 fentanyl pills seized by law enforcement (Connecticut's U.S. Attorney's Office)

Milgram said despite the ongoing threat, there has not necessarily been any credible connection to Halloween candy, but parents should be aware of how the cartels are weaponizing social media to market the pills. 

"We have not seen any connection to Halloween," Milgram said. " What we do see is social media. We see fake pills like the blue boxes that you just showed. We see rainbow pills, a new tactic being used by the cartels, and here's what we worry about. We have middle schoolers and high schoolers who are dying of fentanyl poisoning. We have 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds who are dying."


"And so we are not seeing it in elementary school," she continued. "We have not seen it with Halloween candy, but the bottom line is that this is all over social media."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 108,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses between February 2021 and February 2022. Of those, more than 70% involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

"They are targeting everyone," Milgram said. "They're targeting every American." 

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.