The Wichita Police Department and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office have denied reports of the death of five children due to Fentanyl-tainted Marijuana. The false claim was made on Facebook on 12 April, which said that the kids died from using the tainted marijuana in Wichita, Kansas, and the surrounding areas.
The post read:
"Got to work in Wichita today to find out 5 kids have died from Fentanyl laced Marijuana here and surrounding areas yesterday! Please be safe and educate your kids whether you think they are angels or not, it's going to be smoked and we need to get it out there that it's not just pills being laced and it's very close to home and been sold to multiple groups of people that have died from it in one day!"
The web-based fact checking platform Lead Stories confirmed the details of the fake claim directly from the public information officer for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, Benjamin Blick. Blick stated that he had searched for any such deaths or related incidents reported between 4 April and 11 April but did not find any under the sheriff's office jurisdiction. Lead Stories is noted for analyzing and exposing misleading or false stories and rumors.
The incident is not the first of its kind as Sedgwick County and Wichita law Officials have reported several similar episodes of drug overdoses in the previous year alone. The most recent case was the supposed death of a minor on 30 March due to fentanyl-overdose.
Four other overdose incidents were reported in the course of 9 days in July last year. However they were nine months before the false post which mentioned the five deaths to have happened "yesterday."
In an email sent to the fact checking platform on Monday a public relations officer for the Wichita Police Department, Chad Ditch, stated that the department had "not been made aware" of the claim with any of the city cases.