Riverhead School District

Police arrest 20-year-old after middle school students found with THC candy

A 14-year-old student at Riverhead Middle School shared THC candy with two friends last week and an investigation into the drugs resulted in the arrest of a 20-year-old Riverhead man, according to Riverhead Town police.

Police said the incident was isolated and not connected to previous reported incidents at Riverhead High School, which included two uses of Narcan by a school nurse. Police responded to the middle school Thursday to assist school officials in an investigation into students possibly ingesting a commercially made THC candy one day earlier. No student required medical attention, police said.

Detectives determined that Marvin Dominguez Torres had given the student the THC candy known as “Medical Nerds.” Mr. Torres shares a residence with the student, but police did not elaborate further on the relationship between the two.

Mr. Torres was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. He was released on an appearance ticket for a future court date.

Police said the remaining candy was destroyed and had not been distributed further.

Police noted that marijuana edibles can be mistaken for regular candy and can result in marijuana intoxication when taken in large doses or small doses in a young child. Police reminded parents to keep any drugs or alcohol out of reach of young children and teens and to have conversations with their children about the dangers of drug use and the possibility of drugs packaged similarly to regular candy.

Recreational marijuana in New York was legalized last year for adults 21 and over.

Police on Friday said an investigation into three incidents at the high school found no fentanyl, illicit narcotics or alcohol were involved. One student who suffered a suspected overdose last Monday ingested a THC chocolate candy bar. The student was reportedly having difficulty breathing after eating half the chocolate bar and was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Schools are closed this week for mid-winter break.

In October, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert to parents in advance of Halloween to be aware of products that are deceptively designed to look like standard snack foods and candy, but actually contain high levels of cannabis and THC.

“In the first half of 2021 alone, the American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported that poison control hotlines have received an estimated 2,622 calls for services related to young children ingesting illegal cannabis products,” the AG’s message said.