INDIANAPOLIS — A pair of incidents in as many months are raising awareness about how illegal drug manufacturers are lacing candies such as "SweeTARTS" and "Smarties," a troubling trend given how children would see the colorful tablets as typical treats.
A two-month investigation by the Greenfield Police Department ended with a Hancock County, Ind., man facing 10 felony charges for being in possession of more than 100 of the candies, as well as several other drugs and drug paraphernalia.
On Friday, 30-year-old Jeramie Smith of Greenfield was booked into the Hancock County Jail on two counts of dealing a controlled substance, two counts of dealing methamphetamine, one count of corrupt business influence, three counts of possession of methamphetamine, one count of unlawful possession of a syringe and one count of maintaining a common nuisance.
He also faces misdemeanors for drug possession and maintaining a common nuisance.
According to a news release from the Greenfield Police Department, “SweeTARTS” or “Smarties” can become designer drugs when laced with anything from Xanax to heroin.
Months of investigation led to officers obtaining a search warrant for Smith's apartment. During the search, officers found the candies, methamphetamine, baggies, scales, syringes and concentrated THC to be used in vape pens.
Smith was in the process of manufacturing the “SweeTARTS” as officers arrived to search his residence, police said. He is accused of making the drugs and distributing them in Hancock and the surrounding counties.
"'Sweet Tarts' (and) 'Smarties' are a dangerous drug which have similar side affects to Xanax," said a police statement. "These drugs pose a threat to unsuspecting children whom believe them to be candy."
Police said the candies found in Smith's apartment were valued at $20,000.
This is the second time in as many months that Indiana law enforcement officials have had to warn residents about the drug-laced candies. In April, a 17-year-old student at Columbus High School was caught with a drug called “Xanie Tarts.”
According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, the drug looks like normal candy and it would be hard to know if it is laced until it is eaten.