Police arrested a Springdale man and Gravette girl Thursday on suspicion of selling Sweet Tarts candies laced with LSD, a news release said.
Eighteen-year-old John M. Howerton and a 17-year-old girl were arrested Thursday in connection with felony delivery of a hallucinogenic drug known as LSD and accomplice to the delivery of LSD.
Police recovered 165 Sweet Tarts from various places in Bentonville and Rogers during an undercover operation last month. Each candy was embedded with two hits of LSD -- enough for two people to gain a desired high, Bentonville Lt. Jon Simpson said.
The Sweet Tarts candies were slightly discolored or darkened in the middle because of the LSD lacing. They were individually wrapped in tin foil, he said.
Howerton also was arrested in connection with felony manufacturing of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms and possession with intent to deliver marijuana.
LSD and psilocybin mushrooms alter perception such as sight, feeling and hearing for up 12 hours, Simpson said, adding, "You can only guess what effect that might have on a small child" who takes two hits of LSD at one time.
A child might not survive, Simpson said.
With Halloween in three weeks, Simpson is worried a child might get hold of a drug-laced candy.
"When you are talking about something that looks like a candy, tastes like a candy, and is a candy, the potential for harm is so great," Simpson said. "If candy is not in its original container, it's probably not a good idea to consume it."
Police have a warrant to arrest Martin Holmes, 19, of Bentonville in connection delivery of LSD and accomplice to the delivery of LSD. Simpson anticipates more people will be arrested in this investigation.
Donovan Harris, 19, of Bella Vista was arrested in connection with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and manufacturing psilocybin mushrooms. Police found Harris and Howerton with a substantial amount of marijuana, numerous items of drug paraphernalia and evidence of a psilocybin mushroom growing operation at the residence where Howerton was arrested Thursday, the news release said.
Police have not weighed the marijuana.
Howerton and Donovan were in Benton County Jail awaiting bond and probable cause hearings Friday afternoon. The girl is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center.
By Richard Dean Prudenti
THE MORNING NEWS