LA PORTE COUNTY, Ill. - Eleven teenagers are recovering after getting sick from eating drug-laced candies.
Officials said the 11 teenagers were taken to La Porte-area hospitals after getting sick from gummy bears laced with THC, which is the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana.
La Porte County sheriff's investigators said they have identified the person who sold the drug-laced gummy bears to the teenagers.
"You've got to keep it away from the kids, absolutely, and that's concerning they're putting it in gummy bears now where, you know, I've got four kids; my kids come home with gummy bears and that's concerning," one mother said.
Investigators believe the drugs may have come from a state where marijuana is legal.
"Every time we take some type of drug off the street, the drug dealers will come up with something even worse or even more likable by like a group of teenagers," Capt. Michael Kelllums said.
Kellums said just before midnight a deputy responded to a 911 call near the 5200 block of County Road 325. The deputy found a 19-year-old man along the road complaining of a rapid heart, pain in his legs and blurry vision.
The teenager told the deputy there were 10 more of his friends nearby suffering the same symptoms.
"The strength is so strong that it caused an adverse reaction in 11 people, not one person, not three. It wasn't just a small batch or a bad batch," Kelllums said.
The teenagers, six boys and five girls, said each of them ate half a gummy bear before getting sick.
"You know when you put a can of coke in front of me and I know I'm going to drink 16 ounces of Coca Cola you know what's in it,” Kelllums said. “When you take something that is made and manufactured in another state that unfortunately allows this type of thing, you don't know what you're getting."
The bigger concern for law enforcement officials is that these drug-laced gummies are finding their way into children's hands.
"Teenagers might think that this is fun or it’s a part of growing up but leave that laying around after you've ingested it and a little kid picks it up, we might have a worst-case scenario here," Kelllums said.
This case is being reviewed by the La Porte county prosecutor’s office to see if the teenagers will face any charges