Candy or Drugs?: Schools and deputies prepare to handle drugs that look like candy
GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – In April, two Middle Georgia Sheriff’s Offices were working on two different drug investigations.
In Jones County, a student at Clifton Ridge Middle School brought in what was described as marijuana candy to school. The Jones County Sheriff’s Office had the “candy” sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Department of Forensic Sciences lab for testing just to make sure it contained elements of marijuana. The tests results came back positive for THC.
Major Earl Humpheries with the Jones County Sheriff’s Office says the student brought a lot of this “candy” to school.
“Eventually we had recovered approximately 22 pieces of the candy, it’s about a quarter size, all individually wrapped,” said Humpheries.
Humpheries say five students ate the “candy” and one student sick from eating it.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested two students and parent. The parent, Gregory Brown, was charged with Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and two counts of use of communications facilities in conjunction with providing the means. The students were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana on school property.
Brown is currently out on bond. Humpheries says he has not been indicted yet and his case is expected to go before a grand jury in June.
Around the same time, the Jones County Sheriff’s Office was dealing with the marijuana candy case, the Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office had a case of its own that deputies were working on.
On April 17th, a few residents, who were out riding their four-wheelers, came across six plastic bags filled with different items. They called the Sheriff’s Office and Investigators came to look at the bags.
Investigators believe one bag contained cocaine and the other five bags contained ecstasy, in different colors and shapes.
Bleckley County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Cape believes the drugs are tied to a much bigger case.
“Based on some information we had and the length of the investigation of the roundup that happened 7 days before that, April the 10th, we arrested 36 people and we now, even more, know that was tied to that operation,” said Cape.
The operation he’s referring to involves 46-year old Robert West. He was arrested in February 2019 for trafficking drugs including cocaine, meth, marijuana, and investigators now believe the ecstasy that was found as well. Bleckley County Sheriff’s Investigators arrested 36 people they believe helped West distribute the drugs throughout the county.
Cape says West’s case is waiting to go before a grand jury.
In both cases, the drugs had the appearance of candy. Major Humpheries and Chief Deputy Cape say their deputies and school resources officers are trained to know that something that may look like candy, could actually be a drug.
“You think when you see that packaged that way, that’s not something that candy or vitamins would be packaged,” said Cape.
Although these types of drugs are in Middle Georgia, both Humpheries and Cape say their deputies don’t discover them often.
Major Humpheries says the case at Clifton Ridge Middle School is the first time the Jones County Sheriff’s Office has come across a drug that looks like candy.
Chief Deputy Cape says his office comes across ecstasy about five to ten times a year. He estimates his deputies deal with 100 combined cocaine and meth cases in a year.
Both Humpheries and Cape say if anyone comes across something they’re not sure about, say something.
“Certainly don’t take anything that someone gives you, even if it does look like candy because this is what it could be ecstasy, it could be something other dangerous,” said Cape.
It’s the same advice Macon Resident and mother, Jada Ross, plans to give someday to her five year old daughter, Aliyana.
“Tell her to come to me first before actually trying it, even if it looks like regular candy,” said Ross. “Just let her know because it’s a matter of if it’s really candy or not. I would want her to come to me before actually putting it in her mouth.”
We reached out to the Jones County School District Superintendent and the Principal of Clifton Ridge Middle School for a comment on the student bringing marijuana candy to school, but never heard back.