Craven County Sheriff’s office warns about edibles targeting youth

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The Craven County Sheriff’s office is warning community members to look out for edibles that are infused with illegal substances that look strikingly similar to regular candies and snacks.

These may look like cereal, crackers, candies, and different snacks that we see every day, but these are infused with delta 8 and 9…which have psychoactive and intoxicating effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Oreos, Fruity Pebbles, Girl Scout cookies, these are just some of the flavors they have on illegal products,” Sheriff Chip Hughes said.

According to the Craven County deputies, these products collected from convenience stores and vape and tobacco shops have been sent to labs for further testing.

The results show that the packaging is labeled incorrectly.

Sheriff Hughes says these products put people in danger when consumed accidentally, such as getting behind the wheel and going to work while intoxicated.

However, most importantly, it targets and takes advantage of the youth, who face greater risks.

“It’s more dangerous to children. They are much smaller; they are not going to have tolerance for this stuff and then these things are packed with chemicals,” Sheriff Hughes explained.

County Commissioner Shevel Hunt says she has been dealing with an overwhelming number of complaints from residents and saw the dangers of these products firsthand as well.

“One of the teenagers in my neighborhood ate some edibles, she’s 17 and ended up in the ER. it was a very scary situation for a while there,” Hunt said.

Sheriff Hughes says the office will be conducting weekly investigations to enforce their regulations.

So far, two vape and tobacco shops in New Bern have shut down.

Some of the other items seized by the sheriff’s office include devices used for smoking and ingesting controlled substances that look like children’s toys and products sold with brands and logos without having the proper permission to do so.

Sheriff Hughes added that the stores were warned initially and then faced criminal charges after not complying. So far, 84 criminal charges have been made, and additional charges are expected.