Two people have been arrested after seven elementary school students in Virginia were hospitalized on Tuesday after ingesting fentanyl-laced gummy bears that one of the students brought to school and shared with classmates.
Clifford Dugan, 50, and Nicole Sanders, 26, were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency and abuse of a child after the group of fourth-graders from Central Elementary School needed medical attention after having allergic reactions to the gummy bears.
These 2 are busted after 7 young students in Virginia ate gummy bears tainted with fentanyl.
The incident occurred after one fourth grader brought a zip-close bag full of gummies and shared them.https://t.co/ZkYJMjq5QI
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 14, 2023
Five of the students were taken to the hospital, two by ambulance, Amherst County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Dallas Hill reported.
The students experienced symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle spasms, he said.
“We felt nauseous, sick in our stomachs, hot,” 10-year-old Hayden Floyd told ABC13. “When I was in the ambulance, I was really scared. They could, like, barely put my things on because I was shaking so much.”
Floyd also reported that the gummy bears initially had a weird taste, but then tasted “really good.”
A field test kit on the bag came back positive for fentanyl, according to officials, who said that the specimen would be sent to a Drug Enforcement Administration lab for additional testing.
During the press conference, Amherst County Superintendent William Wells announced that the students impacted were released from the hospital Tuesday night.
The incident has given parents a wake-up call to talk to their children about the dangers of taking food from classmates.
Whoa.. every parents nightmare>>>>> Two adults are arrested after seven fourth-graders eat gummies laced with fentanyl at their Virginia Elementary school with five rushed to the hospital | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/mygLid2vFP
— Emilie D 🟧🏳️🌈💙🐾🌊⚖️🟦 (@Emilie_ing) December 14, 2023
Overdoses and poisoning are the third leading cause of death in kids and adolescents aged 19 and younger.
Along with the initial charge, Dugan also faces a count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, while Sanders was also charged with possessing Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics.
Dugan and Sanders are still in custody. Sanders is being held at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center with a $1,000 and $1,500 bond, and Dugan is being held at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center with no bond.
“This is an ongoing investigation and more charges are possible,” the sheriff’s spokesman reported.