A Watauga teen accused of delivering drug-tainted cookies and candy to area police departments denied to investigators any involvement, but he told authorities that friends may have been using marijuana while he baked the cookies, police said Wednesday.
The 18-year-old was carrying the names of 25 departments with 12 of them checked off when he was arrested Tuesday at the Lake Worth police station.
Christian Phillips of Watauga was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of tampering with a consumer product. He remained in the Lake Worth Jail with bail set at $75,000.
If convicted, Phillips faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“He’s claiming that there was no criminal intent or that he was not trying to hurt someone,” Lake Worth Police Chief Brett McGuire said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, seven Fort Worth police officers and department employees have been tested for drugs after eating some of the cookies, police said. Blood has been taken from the officers and employees to test for any drugs, Fort Worth police Lt. Paul Henderson said Wednesday.
“This is an eye opener for not just our agency, but any government agency. Our officers and employees ate these food items believing them to be safe and from a good person,” Henderson said. “The truth of the matter is though, there are evil people out there intent on doing us harm.”
Watauga police received cookies and all of them were eaten.
Watauga police said Wednesday that they would be sending three to four officers and employees to be tested for drugs.
“The city has made arrangements to take them to a medical clinic,” Watauga Officer Sean Romer said Wednesday.
Investigators believe the teen may have started dropping off the baskets with candy and cookies about a week ago. The baskets included a logo indicating that they were from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.
But Lake Worth police were ready for Phillips. MADD officials had called the Lake Worth department Tuesday morning after they learned that someone had been delivering the baskets to area police departments, claiming to be from that agency.
MADD officials said they had nothing to do with the baskets.
Phillips was arrested about 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Lake Worth police station when he attempted to drop off a basket of cookies and peppermint candy, saying they came from MADD. Cookies in that basket tested positive for LSD, police said.
Lake Worth police also confiscated additional cookies from Phillips’ car which was parked at the Lake Worth police station. Tests on those goodies had not been completed.
After Phillips’ arrest, Lake Worth police on Tuesday sent out bulletins to area police departments concerning the gift baskets.
Police in Blue Mound received a basket filled with candy and cookies just before 8 p.m. Monday.
When a Blue Mound officer picked up one of the cookies, it smelled like marijuana, police said. A field test proved that the cookie contained marijuana, police said.
Hurst, Euless and Richland Hills police also reported receiving the gift baskets last week.
In Hurst, the basket contained only Dum Dum Pops, but no officer or employees have reported being ill, Hurst police Sgt. Craig Teague said Wednesday.
Richland Hills police said Wednesday they received a basket with wrapped candy and cookies and no one reported being sick.
At Euless, police Lt. John Williams said that a kid came to the department last week and dropped off some cookies.
“An officer picked up a cookie and it smelled,” Williams said. “We tested it but it didn’t test positive for anything. We still threw the cookies away.”
According to Watauga police reports, Phillips has a criminal history in that city.
A loud party was reported to Watauga police on July 21, 2007, and Phillips opened the door when police arrived, police said.
Phillips tried to shut the door on officers and when an officer propped the door open with his arm, Phillips swatted it away, according to police reports. About 20 or 30 people were at the party.
When Watauga officers made their way through the blocked door, Phillips tried to punch an officer, missed and was immediately taken down with force.
A Tarrant County court reduced the charge of assault on a public servant to assault with bodily injury.
Phillips is still fulfilling community service for the assault charge.