CHICAGO (WLS) — Police in the south suburbs are warning parents about potentially contaminated gummy bears they say were handed out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Police said that man who’s been charged has admitted to putting gummy bears inside used marijuana packets. Police have recovered five of them, but there could be many more out there.
The yellow-colored gummy bears are in non-descript packaging with no branding or print that allegedly contain remnants of marijuana.
“The aroma. I mean, immediately once we had the package, you could smell the marijuana,” South Chicago Heights Police Chief Bill Joyce said. “And when we unzipped one, it was really, really prominent.”
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 trick-or-treaters at a home on Cherry Lane in South Chicago Heights.
“As a parent, you go trick-or-treating for the kids to have a good time, and then you see these things in the bags. It’s just terrible,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified. She showed ABC7 two packages that she said a male neighbor gave to her kids.
“My daughter tells me he was inside his house, and he was handling them, and she said he had a full bowl of it,” the concerned mother said.
Police said Jarod Feilen, 25, has been charged with child endangerment and has acknowledged handing out at least 20 of the packages.
Police said he told investigators he ran out of Halloween candy and 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 that he was conscious that there was something special about the gummy bears that he didn’t want an infant to have.”
The gummies are now in the process of 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 are not aware of any children ingesting the potentially drug-laced candy and are working to recover any that was distributed.
In the meantime, parents in that neighborhood are being warned to check their kids candy very closely.
If you have any information about the incident or packages of candy to contact the South Chicago Heights police department at 708-755-3520.
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