Two individuals have been arrested in Amherst, Virginia, after a child allegedly brought gummy bears to school, sharing them with friends and causing at least seven students to require medical attention.
Clifford Dugan, 50, and Nicole Sanders, 26, were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the incident that occurred on Tuesday at Central Elementary School in Amherst, as reported by NBC News.
Dugan faces an additional charge of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, as reported by the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office. The students ingested the gummy bears during lunch, and subsequent testing on the bag revealed traces of fentanyl. Authorities clarified that the gummy bears themselves were not contaminated.
The child who brought the gummy bears was among the seven students who fell ill. The bag carrying the gummies showed residue of fentanyl, but the gummy bears were reportedly uncontaminated. The relationship between the child and the suspects remains unclear, according to WDBJ 7.
Five of the affected students were taken to local hospitals and have since been released after receiving treatment for symptoms associated with fentanyl exposure, including nausea, vomiting, and muscle spasms.
The investigation revealed the presence of fentanyl in the gummy bear bag within a few hours, according to authorities. Dugan is being held without bond, while Sanders is held on a $2,500 bond at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center. The school superintendent’s office and the sheriff’s office were not immediately available for further clarification.