WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly $170,000 worth of THC-laced candy and snacks were seized around Eastern North Carolina in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
The North Carolina Secretary of State-led law enforcement operation targeted Eastern North Carolina. In addition to the counterfeit edibles, weapons and other drugs were seized during the operation.
The false brands ranged from Skittles and Fritos to AirHeads and Oreos.
The Secretary of State’s Office said the packaging on the edibles include markups that indicate the snacks include THC. The edibles often resemble regular food, candy, chips, and other sweets.
The labels feature a cartoon character or other images that attract children.
“These THC-infused edibles are packaged using counterfeit snack brands that are particularly popular with children and teenagers,” said N.C. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall. “This growing trend is dangerous for our communities and it’s important to raise the overall awareness of this issue with parents and all residents around North Carolina.”
The snacks were seized from vape and tobacco shops, with the majority of them found near high schools or colleges.
As a result of the operation, eight search warrants were conducted and 24 subjects consented to searches. Several weapons and other drugs were seized.
Secretary of State agents worked with authorities including sheriff’s offices such as Durham County, as well as, police departments in Scotland Neck, Tarboro, and N.C. Central University.
Other partners included the N.C. Alcohol and Law Enforcement Division, the N.C. Department of Revenue Drug Tax Unit, the Consumer Brands Association, Vaudra International, and Homeland Security.
Suspected counterfeit goods can be reported to the Secretary of State’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org