ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Police made a “sweet” bust as part of an operation to seize illegal candies found in some Roxboro stores.
At first glance, it looks like the real thing.
Candy or treats that you would pick up at any store.
“21st century counterfeiters are getting really good at what they do,” Roxboro Police Chief David Hess said.
According to police, four stores were carrying counterfeit candies containing THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.
Hess said most of these items the department posted on Facebook Wednesday were counterfeit candy containing THC.
Hess said a few weeks ago they made a warning on Facebook ahead of Halloween about fentanyl disguised as candy.
It eventually led investigators to launch Operation Sweet Tooth.
Out of the 145 items seized in what Roxboro police are calling “Operation Sweet Tooth,” 126 were edible products that violated copyright laws. The items were confiscated under violations of counterfeit marks.
The four stores in the city were Madison Smoke & Vape, Roxboro Tobacco & Vape, M&A1, and Fuel Time Convenience.
The department’s goal was to get counterfeit items off the street before Halloween celebrations begin.
It means the packaging is fake.
“With the rise of counterfeit goods being laced with fentanyl and dangerous levels of THC that could have dangerous consequences for the children in our community,” Hess stated.
Investigators stopped by every store.
“Every single convenience store in our community,” mentioned Hess.
Investigators seized 145 items from four stores. 126 out of them were edibles that police say could get confused for regular candy because they violate copyright laws.
Hess said the items seized are not illegal for adults, but it’s the packaging that’s the problem.
CBS17 stopped by all four stores. Store owners us off camera they were shocked and didn’t know.
Some told us items were sold behind the counter. We also noticed “21 and up” signs to purchase items or enter stores.
Those stores also told us they bought items from vendors in our area.
“The law requires that the seller have prior knowledge that they are selling counterfeit goods and so, this was a first case effort to inform and educate,” said Hess.
Hess said if a store is caught a second time someone could face charges.
We also asked him about the vendors distributing those items.
He said they’re working with state and federal partners.