(NewsSpace.com) – Parents often warn their children not to accept candy or other treats from people they don’t know, and for good reason. You never know what is inside the product or whether a person has ill intentions. In Tampa, Florida, authorities recently arrested a woman for peddling drugs to kids in her neighborhood.
In a December 15 statement, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced it had arrested 32-year-old Renee Stephens on several charges of possessing and selling drugs, as well as maintaining a dwelling to traffic narcotics with minors present and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. The arrest was the culmination of a months-long investigation into the woman.
Tampa Bay special agents with the FDLE got involved when they were sent a tip on her activities. From August to November, those agents engaged in controlled purchases, during which they were able to procure 58 grams of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. According to the press release, one of those purchases was made while Stephens was handling her infant.
Then, on December 11, authorities searched Stephens’ home and seized fentanyl, fentanyl pills, and marijuana. They also removed packaged snacks that looked like children’s candy but contained marijuana, hence earning her the nickname “candy lady.” She allegedly sold THC-laden candies to the children in the neighborhood using this packaging.
During the course of the investigation, authorities also discovered that her husband, who is currently incarcerated on other drug-related charges, was helping her to facilitate the deals. They charged him as well with unlawful use of a two-way communication device and conspiracy to traffic fentanyl.
Mark Brutnell, the FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge, applauded “the hard work of [the] agents” and said Stephens is an example of “every parent’s worst nightmare.” She has been booked into Hillsborough County Jail, where she is being held on a $92,000 bond. The investigation into the case is ongoing.
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