JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Following a statewide drug crackdown known as Operation Cazador, investigators have revealed a man arrested during a sting on Jacksonville's Westside is accused of targeting children and selling Rice Krispies Treats laced with narcotics.
The drug stings targeted opioid and heroin dealers in Florida. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Thomas Renckley, who was arrested during the raid on the Westside, is accused of selling the Rice Krispies Treats to children. It's something they discovered after his arrest.
Special Agent Mike Dubet said agents seized 150 pounds of the Rice Krispies Treats laced with marijuana. Investigators said Renckley made the treats, packaged them and sold them for $5 to $10 apiece.
"The investigation has led us to believe that his primary customer base was high school kids and young adults," Renckley said. "We seized a trafficking amount of heroin. We seized a trafficking amount of marijuana, we seized 33 marijuana plants. We seized a small amount of LSD as well as cocaine."
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said young people are an easy target for drug dealers.
"The kids know what's in it. That's why they're buying it. It's something you can conceal," Jefferson said. "No one can ask to examine it or test it to see if there are drugs in it."
Jefferson said parents need to educate themselves on the latest trends and then teach their children to stay away from drugs. He said the edibles can be a gateway to harsher and more dangerous narcotics.
"Generally speaking, it always starts with marijuana," Jefferson said.
Agents said they also found five semiautomatic guns in the home.
Two of the guns were reported stolen from Duval and St. Johns counties.
Renckley is facing additional charges because he is a convicted felon who is not supposed to be in possession of firearms. If convicted, he could face between 10 and 20 years in prison. As of Thursday evening, Renckley was in jail on a $430,000 bond.
Records show Renckley had 20 prior run-ins with law enforcement in Duval and Brevard counties. In 2011, he was convicted of cocaine and marijuana possession. In 2009, he was convicted of cocaine possession. In 2008, he was convicted of marijuana possession.