A Lancaster man is in jail after federal and Lancaster drug agents seized more than 50,000 doses of fentanyl hidden in candy wrappers, officials said.
Eric Stanley Jones, 52, was arrested late Thursday after his home on Willow Oak Circle was raided by drug agents earlier in the week, said Doug Barfield, spokesman for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies seized 107 grams of fentanyl wrapped in Mexican candy wrappers, Barfield said. The street value of the fentanyl is more than $40,000, officials said.
Drug agents also seized 400 grams of heroin valued at more than $120,000, almost half a pound of marijuana, hydrocodone narcotics, $,9480 in cash, and a handgun, Barfield said
Jones is charged with trafficking fentanyl, heroin, and hydrocodone, three trafficking counts of selling near a school or park, two marijuana violations, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, police and court records show.
Fentanyl packaging in candy dangerous, officials say
The investigation was done by the Department of Homeland Security and the Lancaster County drug task force.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said the fentanyl packaged in candy wrappers was especially dangerous because a child could have potentially thought what was inside was candy.
“Fentanyl is much more potent than other opiates, and this was a lot of fentanyl,” Faile said. “This is a dangerous substance, and the way it was packaged makes it even more dangerous. If a small child or even an unsuspecting adult had gotten hold of this bag of ‘candy’ the results would have no doubt been tragic.”
Drug trafficking felony charges
A conviction for heroin trafficking of more than 28 grams in South Carolina carries a mandatory 25 years in prison, state law shows. All the other charges are felonies that carry sentences of at least five years in prison for convictions.
Jones, the suspect, has a previous felony conviction for drugs, South Carolina court records show.
Jones is being held at the Lancaster County jail, records show.