Oct 29, 2013 09:01 AM EDT
West Chester Police Seize 40 Pounds of Drug-Laced Candies from Campus Apartment
West Chester University Police Department has confiscated more than 40 pounds of drug-laced candies from an apartment in the school's south campus. The candies were tainted with THC, the active chemical ingredient in marijuana.
Deputy District Attorney Patrick Carmody said that the substance was used to coat small hard candies that were intended for the student population at the university. The officials haven't found any evidence that the candies were intended for distribution on Halloween.
"I don't think these drugs at all were intended for kids. The problem is the recklessness of the individual in this case who's using these drugs in this form, is then they get out in the public," Carmody told abc.
The officials were able to bust the racket after questioning a couple of university students, who were earlier found in a parked car that smelled of marijuana. The students tipped them about the apartment.
Officials said the drug-laced candies, found in different sizes, were packaged in separate plastic bags meant for sale and distribution.
The 24-year-old student accused of possessing the drugged candy has already been suspended and faces serious criminal charges. Authorities have not yet made an arrest, pending lab results.
"We are going to be arresting him," said Carmody. "We are still gathering information about the drugs themselves and completing testing of them and we want to do further investigation of potential sources of the drugs."
Since the incident, the police officials are advising parents to closely check lollipops and candies this Halloween.
"With Halloween just around the corner, the last thing we want to see is drug-laced candy hitting the streets," Carmody told Daily Local. "This was good work by the police to pick off this load of drugs before it went to college students or kids."
"This appears to be an isolated incident and we have seized all of the drugs involved. But it is a good time to remind parents to check the candy collected by their children during Halloween and discard anything that looks suspicious. We want all of our kids to stay safe," Carmody said.
The drug-laced candies are distributed to randomly to children especially during Halloween trick-or-treating. Even though no major injuries have been reported in the past, every year, the law enforcement officials urge parents to carefully examine Halloween treats for tampering before allowing children to consume them.
"Since 1983, I have followed stories about contaminated Halloween treats in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune going back to 1958," said chairperson of sociology at the University of Delaware to Urban Legends, "and every time a case has been reported, the cause of death or injury has turned out to be something other than Halloween candy."
"Tainted Halloween candy is a contemporary legend, spread by word of mouth, with little to support it," Best said. "But, if parents want to take precautions and accompany their children trick or treating that's a good idea."
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