Fact Check: Five Kids Did NOT Die From Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana Around Wichita, KS, On April 11, 2022

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Five Kids Did NOT Die From Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana Around Wichita, KS, On April 11, 2022 No Such Deaths

Did five kids die from using fentanyl-laced marijuana in Wichita, Kansas, and surrounding areas on April 11, 2022? No, that's not true: The Wichita Police Department and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office told Lead Stories that they did not receive five reports of such deaths.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on April 12, 2022. 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 wether 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!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Apr 18 15:56 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories spoke with Benjamin Blick, public information officer for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, over the phone on April 18, 2022. Blick searched for death reports filed between April 4 to April 11, 2022, and found no reports detailing alleged drug-related deaths within the sheriff's office jurisdiction.

In an email to Lead Stories sent on April 18, 2022, Chad Ditch, a public relations officer for the Wichita Police Department, said of the claim:

We have not been made aware of this with any city cases.

Sedgwick County and Wichita law officials have reported several incidents involving drug overdoses in the past year, including the alleged fentanyl-overdose death of a teen on March 30, 2022, and four drug overdoses during a nine-day period in July 2021 -- but those four cases were nine months before the April 12, 2022, unconfirmed post falsely referring to five deaths "yesterday."

Other Lead Stories debunks related to fentanyl can be found here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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