8 arrested after several middle and high school students showed up to school on drugs

POLK COUNTY, Ga. — Eight people are behind bars and three more are wanted after authorities say they sold THC-laced gummy candies and vapes to underage students.

School administrators and parents noticed several students were intoxicated and incoherent at school, so they contacted Polk County Drug Task Force agents.

The middle and high school students were all taken to the hospital. The number of students and their current condition is unknown.

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Investigators found that three convenience stores in the area were illegally selling products containing THC.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Chris Jose found that one of the stores involved had a sign on the door that read. “Due to a family emergency, we will be closed until further notice.”

The stores were identified as American Dream Convenience, Sunoco and Chevron. All three businesses are located on North Main Street.

Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome said students at Cedartown Middle School and High School were taking so many of the laced gummies, their teachers became concerned for their health.

“They eat five or six gummies before gummy number one has taken effect and then you’re having some medical emergency,” Chief Newsome said.

Newsome said the investigation into the convenience stores began last school year.

Eight of the eleven suspects were arrested Tuesday. They were identified as:

  • Jagrutiben Patel, 32
  • Chiragkumar Patel, 37
  • Melody Harding, 59
  • Jorge Cervantes, 42
  • Heather Ballew, 34
  • Edwin Cruz, 28
  • Luis Nunez Pisano, 21
  • Guadalupe Nunez Pisano, 24

The identities of the three people wanted has not been released.

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Investigators were able to recover large amounts of THC vapes, THC gummies, schedule I drugs and money.

Jose says the candy laced with THC looks just like any other bag of candy, and with Halloween around the corner, parents should keep a close watch on what their kids are eating.

These cases are being prosecuted by the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office.