A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man is facing charges for using Instagram to sell THC edibles to children as young as 11 years old, authorities said.
Quashon Rice was arrested after a raid of his Philadelphia home on Tuesday, June 14 turned up 40 bags of marijuana-laced edibles, 10 individually packaged bags of marijuana, a ghost gun, and drug-related materials, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said in a joint release.
“This defendant was targeting children as young as 11 years old to sell his drugs to, imbedding drugs in cereals and snack products that appeal to children," DA Steele said.
"He then sold them where children are—on social media, specifically Instagram, where he would show the product as well as provide step-by-step instructions for how the kids could order the edibles and have them delivered."
An investigation began on Tuesday, May 10 when an officer responded to the East Norriton Middle School cafeteria, where school officials believed a student had been given a weed-laced "treat" without his knowledge and became sick, the DA said alongside Upper Merion Township Police Chief Thomas Nolan and East Norriton Township Interim Public Safety Director Philip Pulaski.
The sick student claimed to have eaten a rainbow-colored Rice Krispy treat given to him by another student, E.E., who was found to be selling drug-laced edibles bought from the Instagram account "top2treats," authorities said.
E.E. allegedly told police that they received the edibles at their home or a nearby park after they paid the source in cash.
Investigators linked the Instagram account to Rice and discovered that he messaged E.E. and other children, mentioning specific prices, delivery fees, and a variety of edibles he was selling, including Fruity Pebbles bars, cookies, brownies, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch bars, the DA said.
The account was eventually disabled, but Rice continued to sell the edibles on a new account called "toptreatz4," investigators said.
Detectives examined the accounts' posts from March to May, and found enough evidence to suggest that the account owner sold and delivered the edibles to customers in Ambler, Bala Cynwyd, Bridgeport, Cheltenham, King of Prussia, Norristown, and Willow Grove, they said.
Rice is charged for the 19 sales and deliveries within Montgomery County, 18 of which were to juveniles.
He is charged with the following offenses:
- Solicitation of Minors to Traffic Drugs
- Possession With Intent to Deliver
- Criminal Use of a Communications Facility
- Possession of a Controlled Substance and Corruption of Minors
He was arraigned and remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in lieu of $95,000 cash bail.
A preliminary hearing is set for Monday, June 27 before Magisterial District Judge Marc Alfarano.
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