Jul. 8—AUBURN — Two McDonald's employees are charged in connection with four strips of the prescription drug Suboxone found in a Happy Meal box at McDonald's on Center Street last week.
Michael Sevey, 43, of Turner is charged with unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, and Mariah Grant, 29, of Auburn is charged with unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs. Both are expected to appear in court Nov. 3.
Police said a mother from Oxford spotted the drugs at the bottom of the box after she ordered chicken nuggets and fries for her 11-year-old son June 30.
"He ate most of the food and passed me the box and I looked in it and found all that in there," said Shirlee Marchesseault, the child's mother. "I had to look up what that stuff was on Google because I didn't know what it was!"
Nobody ingested the drug, police said. Marchesseault went back to McDonald's and reported it at once. Auburn police began their investigation and said McDonald's management cooperated.
Police used video surveillance inside the restaurant to determine that an employee had the Suboxone prescription in a shirt pocket. When the employee bent over to retrieve something from behind the counter, drugs and a pen fell from the pocket into a Happy Meal box, police said.
The employee did not know the prescription was missing until later in the shift when the incident was brought to the store's attention, according to police.
Police said the employee who dropped the prescription into the Happy Meal box obtained it from another employee earlier in the shift.
Marchesseault said Wednesday that she was relieved to hear the arrests had been made.
"I think someone should be accountable for this," she said. "There should have never been drugs there in the first place, in my opinion. A mistake doesn't cut it for me."
A McDonald's representative on Thursday released a statement about the incident, saying the two employees had been fired.
"In our restaurants, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our employees and customers," according to Taylor Goble, owner and operator of the Auburn restaurant. "I was shocked and disappointed by the behavior of these crew members, which goes against the values we have as an organization and will not be tolerated. These individuals are no longer employed by my organization. We are taking this matter seriously so that we can continue to maintain our high standards."
Suboxone is a prescription drug used to treat opioid dependence. It is used as a maintenance program mainly by people trying to quit heroin or other opiates.
The drug is often sold on the street or smuggled into jails and prisons, by people either trying to get off stronger drugs or seeking Suboxone's opioid high. Drug officials say a single strip goes for about $8 to $10 on the street, but it will fetch up to $400 in correctional facilities.
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