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Kids on Drugs: 2 in Police Custody After Gummy Bears in Fentanyl-Laced Bag Was Found on Student

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Gummy bears
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Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has a bad rap among the sane for a good reason. So when a gummy bear bag brought to an elementary school tested positive for it, there was a medical emergency. 

According to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, seven children at Central Elementary School in Amherst “experienced a reaction to ingesting gummy bears” during school hours on Tuesday. 

Five among them ended up in area hospitals for treatment. This caused initial interest in the bag the gummy bears came in. On Wednesday, during a press briefing, Amherst County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Dallas Hill revealed the residue on it tested positive for fentanyl.

The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office initially said the gummy bears tested positive for the drug. However, during Wednesday’s press briefing, Hill corrected that, saying the candy itself did not test positive for fentanyl.

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However, there is to be further testing. The bag in question was brought from home by a student.

“At this point, we believe the bag containing the fentanyl got contaminated either at home or en route to school as the student was being transported by their caregiver to school,” Wells said during Wednesday’s press briefing, “There’s no indication of any other fentanyl at the school.”

A man and a woman are in custody in connection with the incident.

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Clifford Dugan faces charges of contributing to the delinquency/abuse of a minor and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He is in custody without bond. The woman, Nicole Sanders, faces charges of drug possession and contributing to delinquency/abuse of a minor. She is on a $2,500 bond.

According to Hill, additional charges are possible.

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Dugan and Sanders were to appear in court Wednesday afternoon. It is still being determined if they have an attorney. Authorities have not disclosed the relationship between the suspects and the student who brought the candy to school.

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The sickened students exhibited symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and signs of being lethargic. Fortunately, none of the kids had trouble breathing. As such, there was no need for the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

School administrators reportedly notified emergency services of the incident immediately. EMS transported two of the students for medical attention while three students were driven by their parents. 

All students are healthy and are home with their parents. They all belong to the same fourth-grade class.

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School officials initially thought the students had an allergic reaction. But through “trial and error,” authorities tested the residue in the bag for fentanyl to do their “due diligence” in determining what happened. 

The incident seemed unintentional, and the student who brought the candy also consumed some of the gummy bears. The student’s sibling also brought a bag of gummy bears from home to school, and it did not test positive for fentanyl. 

According to Wells, only the bag tested positive for fentanyl. There was also no indication that the drug was on other surfaces in the building. 

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