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Tests that showed illegal drugs were found in a 16-year-old boy’s system after he ate a piece of Halloween candy allegedly laced with drugs proved to be false after confirmatory testing showed the original results were a false positive.

“It was a false positive in the test,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R). “[The teenager] did not have illegal drugs in his system. The information we gave out was premature. We should have waited until we got the results back.”

Evans said even though the child’s name was not given to the media, “we want to apologize [that] we insinuated he took drugs when he in fact did not.” He said the neighborhoods are safe, as there were no illegal drugs found on the teenager’s Halloween candy either. Evans said officials do not know what made the boy sick.

The sheriff’s office began an investigation last week into claims that the teenager had eaten a piece of Halloween candy laced with drugs after he was rushed to the emergency room.

Between 7 and 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, a 16-year-old boy visited about 25 homes in Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lusby while trick-or-treating, according to a sheriff’s office press release. He was accompanied by at least three adults and three younger children.

The 16-year-old and his mother returned to their St. Leonard home at about 9 p.m. where he ate about 20 to 25 pieces of candy while watching television, the press release states. Deputies said the boy “recalled that one piece,” a lollipop, “tasted unusual,” and within an hour he was feeling ill. His mother drove him to Calvert Memorial Hospital at 11 p.m., deputies said.

A preliminary urine drug screening test resulted in a positive reaction to two controlled dangerous substances frequently abused, deputies said. The victim remained in the emergency room for several hours and was then discharged.

The boy’s mother posted messages on Facebook about her son’s illness and the positive drug test result, according to the press release. The claims were spread throughout the community and said, “If you went trick or treating in the Ranch Club on the following roads I will post below throw out your childrens [sic] candy. A child is in the ER from eating a piece of candy that was laced with drugs. This IS NOT a joke or a copy from tons of wall posting. Please share with anyone you know that may taken [sic] their kids there!” The claim further states the candy was laced with cocaine and valium and was allegedly given to a child who went trick-or-treating on Gunsmoke, Hickok, Pioneer, Alamo and Comanche trails.

None of the other adults or children who participated with the young victim’s trick-or-treating activities became ill, the press release states, and most of their candy obtained during this event has either been seized by the sheriff’s office or isolated to protect possible consumers. The wrapper and paper stick from the one piece of suspect candy was recovered by law enforcement and observation revealed nothing unusual.

The teenager is prescribed a number of medications and Poison Control personnel believe that none of his prescribed medications would have yielded the positive result obtained in the drug screening test, according to the press release, but said some drug testing procedures yield false positives if the parameters are too broad or non-specific. The urine sample collected from the 16 year old victim was forwarded to a second laboratory for confirmatory testing and proved the results were a false positive, Evans said.

kfitzpatrick@somdnews.com