Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel has been hit by sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday.

The department accused the cartel of manufacturing “rainbow” fentanyl pills purportedly aimed at kids, reported the Associated Press.

U.S. properties of the Hurtado brothers, who are the leaders of the drug cartel, are blocked by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. It also prohibited U.S. citizens from having dealings with them. The sanctions were directed at José Alfredo Hurtado, who leads the cartel along with his brother Johnny Hurtado.

Based in the southern state of Guerrero, the cartel is often known as The New Michoacan Family. The name is to distinguish it from an older group that was mostly expelled from the western state of Michoacan in the mid-2010s.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement that not only does the cartel traffic fentanyl, it now "markets ‘rainbow fentanyl’." It's done as part of a "deliberate effort to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults." He shared that fentanyl "claimed the lives of more than 108,000 Americans last year."

KRDO reported that there has been debate about whether the fentanyl pills in different colors that have appeared in the U.S. are designed to attract kids, or are simply to distinguish the brand of the gang.

Mexican cartels generally ship blue fentanyl pills to America. They are counterfeited to look like Adderall, Xanax or Oxycodone. Synthetic opioid overdoses take lives of tens of thousands of people of America every year. In part it is because many of those who take the pills don't know that they are consuming fentanyl.

The Treasury Department said that the Familia Michoacana cartel also traffics heroin, meth and cocaine.

The gang, known for being notoriously violent, has been active in Guerrero and the neighboring states of Morelos, Mexico and Michoacan. Last month, authorities said that the killing of 20 townspeople in the town of Totolapan, Guerrero, seems to have been the work of José. But he tried to use social media to blame a rival gang, reported The attack that happened on Oct. 5 in Totolapan killed the town’s mayor, his dad as well as 18 other men.

This is a representational image. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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