Child Brings Fentanyl-Laced Gummies To School, Poisoning Classmates

Virginia police arrested two adults after the poisoning of seven elementary school students. The students had consumed fentanyl-laced gummy bears brought to school by a classmate.

A fourth-grade student brought a bag of gummy bears to Central Elementary School, sharing them with classmates during lunch. The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office reported that five students were taken to the hospital. Two of the students had to be transported via ambulance.

A spokesman for the Amherst County Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Dallas Hill, told CNN that the affected students experienced nausea, vomiting, headaches and muscle spasms.

Following the incident, Clifford Dugan, 50, and Nicole Sanders, 26, were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency and abuse of minors. In addition, Dugan was charged with felony firearm possession, and Sanders was charged with possession of scheduled narcotics.

Dugan is currently detained at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center without bail. Sanders is also held at the same facility. Her bonds are set at $1,000 and $1,500.

Police released a statement saying, “During the course of the preliminary investigation, it was found that each of these students had ingested gummy bears. The SRO on scene observed residue in the baggie that contained the gummies.”

Authorities reported that a field test kit positively detected fentanyl in the bag. The sample will be sent to a Drug Enforcement Administration lab for further analysis.

School Superintendent William Wells made a statement to families saying the bag was “brought from home by a student.” He added that he would “work with the Sheriff’s Office as they continue their investigation.”

Wells reported that all the students were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening.

In a Facebook post, Kristina Wright, the mother of one of the poisoned students, shared details about the incident. She said her son, Hayden, had consumed ten gummy bears. She then warned parents about the importance of instructing their children not to accept any food or substances from anyone.

During an interview with WSET, Hayden told a reporter that the gummies initially “tasted weird, then it tasted good. The aftertaste, it tasted really good.”

He then added that the students who had eaten the gummy bears started feeling poorly after lunch. He said, “We felt nauseous, sick in our stomachs, hot. When I was in the ambulance, I was really scared. They could, like, barely put my things on because I was shaking so much.”