CHICAGO (WLS) — South Suburb police are warning parents about potentially contaminated gummy bears they say were handed out to cheaters on Halloween.
Police say the man who was charged admitted to putting gummy bears in used packets of marijuana. Police recovered five, but there could be many more.
The yellow-colored gummy bears are in nondescript, unbranded or imprinted packaging that is believed to contain marijuana remnants.
“The aroma. I mean, as soon as we got the package, you could smell the marijuana,” South Chicago Heights Police Chief Bill Joyce said. “And when we unpacked one, it was really, really important.”
Chief Joyce said five suspicious packages were turned over to his department by an alert parent and grandparent after they were allegedly distributed to Halloween cheaters at a house on Cherry Lane in South Chicago Heights.
“As a parent you do tricks to make sure the kids have a good time and then you see these things in the bags. It’s just terrible,” said a woman who did not want to be identified. . She showed ABC7 two packages she said a male neighbor had given to his children.
“My daughter told me he was inside his house handling them, and she said he had a bowl full of them,” the concerned mum said.
Police said Jarod Feilen, 25, was charged with child endangerment and admitted distributing at least 20 of the packages.
Police say he told investigators he was out of Halloween candy, so he filled empty marijuana packets with gummy bears.
“He gave the packages to an 8-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 10-year-old, but not a 2-year-old,” Chief Joyce said. “That tells me he was aware there was something special about the gummy bears that he didn’t want a baby to have.”
The gummies are currently being tested by a crime lab to see if the candy itself has been tampered with, investigators said.
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Police said they were not aware of any children who had ingested sweets potentially containing drugs and were working to recover any that had been distributed.
In the meantime, parents in this neighborhood are warned to check their children’s sweets very closely.
If you have information about the incident or candy packages, contact the South Chicago Heights Police Department at 708-755-3520.
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