A police department in Georgia is warning residents about fentanyl-laced hard candies resembling gummy bears.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department posted on social media Wednesday about the fentanyl-laced candies. The perpetrators “infused” melted Jolly Ranchers with fentanyl, then molded them to look like gummy bears and rewrapped them in the Jolly Rancher wrappers, Lieutenant Shaun Barnett of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The purpose of the social media posts was to caution the public of this substance being recovered locally,” Barnett said.
The Northeast Georgia Drug Task Force seized the drug-laced hard candies on July 30 while executing a search warrant, and there is an ongoing investigation into the matter, according to Barnett. The candies were found in an Athens home, the Athens-Banner Herald reported.
It remains unclear if any overdoses or overdose deaths were linked to the fentanyl-laced candies or if there are any suspects in custody, as Barnett couldn’t provide further details due to the ongoing investigation.
Fentanyl is a highly-potent synthetic opioid that is responsible for the majority of synthetic drug overdose deaths in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 92,183 drug overdose deaths in 2020, 1,848 of which were in Georgia, according to local reports.
Houston DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux told the DCNF last month that “nearly all illicit synthetic drugs smuggled into the U.S. are manufactured in Mexico” and linked the surge in overdose deaths to the Mexican cartels.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers 2 milligrams of fentanyl to be a lethal dose.
A number of former top U.S. officials penned a letter to President Joe Biden last month urging him to declare fentanyl and its analogues Weapons of Mass Destruction, according to Families Against Fentanyl.
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