Indiana man gets 16 years after student eats tainted candy

A western Indiana man has received a 16-year sentence in a case where a student at a local school became ill after eating drug-laced candy.

Posted: Mar 9, 2021 8:03 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A western Indiana man has received a 16-year sentence in a case where a student at a local school became ill after eating drug-laced candy.

A Vigo County judge ordered Levi Dowden, 22, of Terre Haute on Monday to serve 10 years of his sentence in prison followed by one year of work release and five years on formal probation.

Dowden pleaded guilty last fall to felony charges of aiding in dealing methamphetamine, aiding in dealing cocaine, aiding in dealing a look-a-like substance and dealing in marijuana, the Tribune-Star reported.

He was originally charged with 18 criminal counts involving drugs and firearms following an investigation that began in February 2019 when a Vigo County schools student became ill after eating a gummy candy that had reportedly been laced with Xanax.

That student was released from the hospital after treatment, police said at the time.

The investigation led police to a residence where Dowden was staying with two other people in northern Vigo County. There, police reported finding cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, synthetic marijuana, ingredients for hallucinogens and more than a dozen guns.

Defense attorney Jim Organ said Monday that Dowden lived at the home, but was only involved in dealing marijuana and not the other drugs and did not have any firearms in his living space.

Charges are still pending against the two other defendants, who both face 18 criminal counts.

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