Tucson police seize 1,000 ‘rainbow fentanyl’ pills in supply-house bust

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:31 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Thousands of fentanyl pills are off the streets after Tucson Police Department’s Midtown Community Response Team busted a drug supply house near Speedway Boulevard and Camino Seco.

Ofc. Frank Magos, public information officer for TPD, said the bust led them to 1,000 “rainbow fentanyl” pills, the largest amount found yet at one location in Tucson.

“I think this is a classic example of what happens when the community and police department work together,” Magos said.

Officers received reports of meth and fentanyl sales at an apartment complex in the 2500 block of North Dodge Boulevard, and they were told the people living there had numerous firearms.

Magos said when officers went to investigate, they realized just how big of an operation they were dealing with.

“Those officers work in a plain clothes capacity, which allows those officers to observe and get closer better than a uniform or patrol car would be able to,” Magos said. “With that, they had probable cause to stop a female that was approaching that apartment.”

That woman was 41-year-old Monique Martinez. When officers stopped her, they found over 3,300 fentanyl pills, a half-ounce of crack cocaine, a half-ounce of heroin and a 9mm handgun.

Martinez has been charged as a prohibited possessor and with possession of narcotics for sale. She’s behind bars on a $30,500 bond.

Inside the apartment, officers found even more fentanyl pills, meth, guns and thousands of dollars in stolen property.

15 guns found with lots of ammunition.
15 guns found with lots of ammunition.(Tucson Police Department)

Inside the apartment 42-year-old Kenneth Taylor was arrested and charged on prohibited possessor and possession of narcotics for sale. 55-year-old Henry Martinez was arrested and charged on prohibited possessor and possession of narcotics for sale and is behind bars on a $15,000 bond. 32-year-old Ernest King was also arrested and charged on possession of narcotics.

Meth, heroine, crack cocaine found.
Meth, heroine, crack cocaine found.(Tucson Police Department)

“Acting on that information and continuing that investigation, they were able to identify who they believe were supplying that apartment with drugs,” Magos said. “That was at a home on the east side near Speedway and Camino Seco.”

15 guns found and lots of ammunition.
15 guns found and lots of ammunition.(Tucson Police Department)

After obtaining a search warrant, Magos said TPD officers and K-9s acted quickly.

Inside they found close to $65,000 in cash, 15 firearms, including three shotguns, one AK-47, one M4 and 10 handguns. They also found 53,000 fentanyl pills, 1,000 “rainbow fentanyl” pills, 8 pounds of meth, a half-pound of heroin, over 1,000 counterfeit Xanax and over an ounce of cocaine. They also found a large amount of ammunition.

Nearly $65,000 found in drug supply house.
Nearly $65,000 found in drug supply house.(Tucson Police Department)

28-year-old Matthew Hammons was arrested inside the house for several felony charges related to guns and drug possession. He is behind bars on a $100,000 bond. 30-year-old Kaila Hall was also arrested on drug charges.

1,000 Rainbow Fentanyl pills.
1,000 Rainbow Fentanyl pills.(Tucson Police Department)

“One of our biggest fears is that these pills that are multiple different colors are very attractive, you want to grab a handful and any one pill can kill. Our biggest fear is that children, young people will not understand the seriousness of fentanyl and end up ingesting one and it will kill them,” said TPD Capt. John Leavitt.

In Phoenix, experts at Banner Poison and Drug Information Center say they’re dealing with at least 10 fentanyl overdoses per week.

Daniel Brooks, medical director at Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said the drug looking like candy is not helping the problem.

“It’s ridiculous. To have marijuana edibles look like a candy bar. Who would do that? Or gummy bears? It’s ridiculous, but our community has accepted that, and now the illicit drug dealers that are making fentanyl are following that. It’s just incredibly dangerous and frustrating for us,” Brooks said.

Magos said they’re urging parents to not only talk to their children about the dangers of fentanyl but to call 88-CRIME when they see drug deals being done in public.

We hear numerous stories where day-to-day they’re seeing drug dealings going on, and some may be hesitant to call 911 or to report it to the police but we want them to know that we need them. We need their help,” Magos said.

Call 88-CRIME to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement, you can remain anonymous.