Virginia Couple Arrested After Fourth Graders Ate Fentanyl-Laced Gummies

Virginia authorities recently arrested a man and woman after seven fourth-grade students were poisoned by fentanyl-laced gummies that one of the children brought from home.

Clifford Dugan, 50, and Nicole Sanders, 26, were charged with contributing to the delinquency and mistreatment of a child after a group of fourth-grade students were hospitalized for eating the gummies during lunch at Central Elementary School, according to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office.

Dugan and Sanders are currently held at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center.

“During the course of the investigation, it was found that these students had ingested gummy bears. The SRO on scene observed residue in the baggie that contained the gummies,” Virginia police said in a statement.

One of the seven children had brought the gummies from his house to the school, where he shared them with his classmates.

Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Dallas Hill said that after consuming the fentanyl-laced candy, all the students experienced symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle spasms.

Virginia officials said that a field test kit revealed the gummies contained fentanyl. The sample will soon be sent to a lab run by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for further analysis.

Dugan and Sanders’ arrest came after authorities searched the couple’s home on Pendleton Drive in Amherst County.

Amherst County Schools Superintendent William Wells released a statement following the tragic incident, saying the students were released from the hospital on Dec. 12, 2023.

Wells said it has been “confirmed that the bag was brought from home by a student. We will work with the Sherrif’s Office as they continue their investigation.”

“This is not a school issue … the fentanyl came from somebody’s house,” Wells said during a press conference. “I ask our parents to take charge. It’s here and it’s real.”

The superintendent said the school district “will make it a point of emphasis to remind our students not to share food items. Drug awareness will continue to be a point of emphasis across the division at all schools.”

The mother of Hayden Floyd, one of the affected students, shared an update on Facebook about her son’s health.

“Hayden is home, the tests all came back normal with no traces of fentanyl thank God,” Kristina Wright wrote on the social media platform.