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Someone’s been spiking Jimmy John’s sweet tea with mystery pills, Georgia sheriff says

Sheriff’s deputies in Georgia are investigating a bizarre series of tea spikings at a Jimmy John’s that started Halloween night, according to incident reports.

Employees at the sandwich shop in Augusta called authorities on two separate occasions to report mysterious pills at the bottom of a tea container, the reports show. Patrons found the first batch and a worker discovered the second.

“(The employee) stated that he found them because he tasted the tea and it tasted off. He stated that he saw the pills and believed them to be ecstasy pills,” according to a Nov. 4 report. “He did not know how the pills got in the tea or when they did.”

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office redacted how the employee knew it was ecstasy.

Mike Hutko, who owns the local franchise, told McClatchy news group in a statement Friday that safety is the restaurant’s top priority.

“As soon as we learned of the incident in the Augusta store, we notified local authorities and are fully cooperating with their investigation,” he said.

Deputies first responded to the Jimmy John’s shortly before 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, according to an incident report. The manager told them “there was a suspicious substance found in the sweet tea pitcher.”

A middle-aged couple reportedly tipped workers off earlier in the night, saying there was something in the tea giving them stomach pains. The couple told the manager they were heading to an emergency room as a result, the police report says.

Law enforcement officials did not know which hospital the couple might have visited.

But the manager told deputies it looked like pills.

“I was able to observe the substance which was originally stated as pills,” the report states. “The substance appeared to be a gummy and fruity smelling substance that was mostly white with pieces of multi-colors mixed in.”

Deputies were called back to the same Jimmy John’s just after 10 p.m. on Nov. 4, according to a second incident report.

This time, the owner was there.

He reportedly told deputies an employee discovered “two small pills in the bottom of the tea container” near the self-service soda fountain. The tea was made earlier in the day, the report states.

“I observed two circular peach-colored objects in the tea container that is consistent with pills,” a deputy wrote in the report. “I put on protective gloves and attempted to retrieve the items but they both broke apart as soon as I touched them.”

He was reportedly able to bag a small portion of one of the pills before they dissolved into the tea, a sample of which was also taken from the restaurant.

Sgt. Caleb Lee told McClatchy news group Thursday the incident was still under investigation.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.
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