Two arrested after seven primary school pupils ate gummy bears from bag laced with fentanyl

By John Mercury December 15, 2023

Two people have been arrested after seven primary schoolchildren “experienced a reaction to ingesting gummy bears” from a bag that was laced with fentanyl, police in the US have said.

Five of the children were taken to hospital after eating the sweets at the Central Elementary School in Amherst County, Virginia, the local sheriff’s office added.

Two of the children were taken to hospital by the emergency services while the other three were taken by their parents, Sky News’ US partner network NBC News reported.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin – with the US gripped by a crisis in relation to the number of people taking the powerful drug.

The seven fourth-graders ate the gummy bears after another student brought them in a plastic bag from home, the school said in a statement.

The ages and names of the children have not been released, but fourth-graders are usually aged between nine and 10 years old.

The students showed symptoms including nausea, vomiting and signs of being lethargic, Bradley Beam, the public safety director for Amherst County Public Schools, told a news conference.

The overdose reversal drug Narcan was not administered because none of the students exhibited any signs that they had trouble breathing, he added.

Police have said the student who brought the gummy bears to school on Tuesday was one of the seven who experienced a reaction after eating the sweets.

The school initially issued a notice to parents about a “medical incident” where seven children had experienced an “allergic reaction to something they had ingested” on the premises.

In a follow-up statement, the school said the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office had conducted a “field test” on the bag and the results “indicated a positive reaction for fentanyl”.

Read more:
The million dollar streets strewn with bodies contorted by the effects of fentanyl
Fentanyl stash ‘found under nursery trapdoor’

Boy, 1, dies from apparent fentanyl overdose

The school had contacted the police after it emerged the children had eaten something and needed medical attention.

Clifford Dugan, 50, and Nicole Sanders, 26, were arrested and have both been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child, the sheriff’s office said.

Their relationship to each other and the student who took the gummy bears to school has not been confirmed by police.

The US is experiencing a fentanyl crisis with the negative impacts of the drug seen in cities all over the country.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

May 2023: The fentanyl crisis in San Francisco

Fentanyl users’ bodies become contorted after using the drug and many who take it are seen passed out in the street.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said more than 150 people die every day in the US from overdoses related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *