‘Candy lady’ accused of selling drug-infused treats to children in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. – Check out what Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents found when they searched a Tampa, Florida woman’s house-–dozens of packages made to look like chips, candy and cereal that actually contained marijuana.

Courtesy: FDLE

Renee Stephens, 32, faces several charges, including trafficking in fentanyl, possession of controlled substance with intent to sell and maintaining a dwelling to traffic narcotics with minors present. The FDLE says Stephens was known as the “candy lady” and was reportedly selling drug-infused candy to children in the neighborhood.

Courtesy: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

“The drug-infused candy this suspect was reportedly selling to children is every parent’s worst nightmare,” FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell said in a statement.

Over a three-month investigation, agents said they conducted controlled purchases with Stephens, totaling 58 grams of fentanyl. During one transaction, agents allegedly witnessed Stephens handling fentanyl while holding her infant child. A subsequent search of Stephens’ residence revealed 153 grams of fentanyl, 100 fentanyl pills, marijuana, and 63 bags of marijuana craftily disguised as snacks.

“This defendant, known as the ‘Candy Lady,’ endangered Floridians, including children by targeting and selling drug-infused candy, chips and cereal,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement. “It is unconscionable that a mother would have this poison near her baby and sell it to others. I am thankful for our law enforcement partners for seizing the lethal amounts of fentanyl in this case, enough to kill nearly 80,000 people.”

Stephens’ husband, Vincent Stephens, is currently in prison for drug-related charges.

Vincent Stephens, Courtesy: Florida Department of Corrections

FDLE says that Vincent was working with his wife to facilitate the drug deals. He’s charged with conspiracy to traffic fentanyl and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.