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Candy Possibly Tainted With Meth May Have Sickened SoCal Toddler

NBClosangeles.com , November 5, 2013

A piece of Halloween candy that may have sickened a Southern California toddler tested positive in preliminary tests for methamphetamine, in the second case of a child being sickened by meth possibly because of their trick-or-treat take-home, authorities said Monday.

Those results are now being sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, which will conduct further tests on the possibly tainted Smarties that may have landed a 2-year-old boy in the hospital.

Results from the federal agency’s tests could take months to complete.

Pieces of candy tested as controls -- or "safe" sweets -- also tested positive for meth, police said. The federal tests will determine whether any of the police department's results were "false positives."

Investigators said it is not a question of whether the boy ingested methamphetamine, but whether the illicit drug made its way into his system through Smarties candy he received while trick-of-treating on Halloween.

Investigators believe the toddler collected the possibly tainted packaged candy in the 25000 block of Calibria Way. He was hospitalized Saturday night and is expected to be released Tuesday.

In another case of possibly tainted treats, a 6-year-old boy in Huntington Beach was hospitalized after eating Halloween candy and he, too, tested positive for methamphetamine.

Detectives have confiscated all the boy's trick-or-treating take-home and are testing to see if any of the sweets were laced with meth.

"We know it was one of the things he was doing before he became sick, or under the influence," said Lt. Mitch O'Brien, with the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The 6-year-old collected his candy near Beach Boulevard and Atlanta Avenue in Huntington Beach, officials said.

The possibility that someone in their neighborhood may have handed out drug-laced candy to trick-or-treaters was enough for some families to throw away all the goodies their young ones collected on Halloween.

“I told him I was going to throw out the candy, and all he said was, ‘No!’” said Joey Ramirez, father and Moreno Valley resident.

Ramirez said he and his wife are “not taking any chances” when it comes to their son’s safety.

The sickened 2-year-old's grandfather said police have probed the family's home to determine whether the toddler injested meth from another source, adding that he and his family have "nothing to hide."