Children ages 4-9 sickened by pot-laced brownies


Pictured above: Justin French – Picture courtesy of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office


Sheriff Darren Campbell stated: On Sunday September 9, deputies with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a possible drug overdose at a home in North Iredell.

The caller at the residence contacted 911 after noticing their spouse and the three minor children ages 6, 6 and 9, were showing symptoms of possibly being poisoned. Deputies arrived on the scene along with EMS.

Deputies spoke with the caller and learned the family had been to another relative’s home earlier and had consumed brownies. The caller believed the brownies were tainted with something which caused the illness. The three minor children were found to be in serious physical condition and were transported to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for emergency medical treatment. Two adults in the home also received treatment for symptoms.

After interviewing the caller, deputies learned the name of the relative who had given them the brownies and the location of his home. Several deputies responded to 191 West Debbie Lane, Statesville to investigate further.

When Deputies arrived at the house, they spoke to Justin Neal French. While speaking with Justin French at the door, they could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the residence.

Deputies secured the residence and during a sweep for additional victims in distress. They located another 4 year old child in distress, who appeared to be suffering the same symptoms as the other children at the first location

It was quickly determined this child had also eaten some of the brownies as the other children. The four year old was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital Emergency Room to be treated for a drug overdose.

Detectives were called to assist in the investigation. Detectives applied for and were granted a search warrant of the West Debbie Lane residence. A search was executed and detectives located marijuana and several items of drug paraphernalia.

Detectives interviewed Justin French who admitted to making marijuana infused brownies for personal use. He stated the marijuana laced brownies had unknowingly got mixed together with regular brownies. A total of four children and two adults had eaten the brownies.

Justin Neal French, 40, was arrested and transported to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was charged with: Four Counts of Misdemeanor Child Abuse, Four Counts of Felony Sell and Deliver a Controlled Substance to a Minor Under 13 Years Old, Aggravated Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Misdemeanor Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substance.

Justin French was given a 300,000.00 dollar secured bond by Magistrate T. Thompson.

All four minor children are expected to be released from the hospitals and make a full recovery.

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