FACT CHECK: Did An Off-Duty Pentagon Cop Give Fentanyl To Children During Halloween?
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Daily Beast article claiming an off-duty Pentagon officer gave out fentanyl to Trick-or-Treaters.
This screenshot has been digitally altered. A spokesperson for the Daily Beast confirmed the screenshot was altered from one of the outlet’s articles.
Concerns of drug-laced Halloween candy circulated online after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a press release warning of “brightly-colored” fentanyl. Parents were fearful their children may receive a drug, dubbed “rainbow fentanyl,” that targeted younger Americans, National Public Radio reported.
The Facebook photo appears to shows a news article with the headline, “Off-Duty Pentagon Cop Caught Dealing Fentanyl To Children During Trick Or Treating.” The alleged article is attributed to Justin Rohrlich, a reporter for The Daily Beast, uploaded on the night of Oct. 31.
This claim is false. The headline has been digitally altered. The original headline reads, “Off-Duty Pentagon Cop Caught Dealing Cocaine, Police Say.” A longer article that appeared on the Arlington, Virginia city website claims the suspect was taken into custody Oct. 28, three days before Halloween.
“That is not an authentic Daily Beast screenshot and the image has clearly been manipulated by a third party,” a spokesperson for The Daily Beast confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact. “Twitter has annotated this post as ‘Manipulated Media’ and has linked to the legitimate article on The Daily Beast website.”
There are no credible news reports of a Pentagon cop dealing fentanyl on Halloween. Experts assured that there was no threat to the public in regards to rumors of fentanyl-laced candy, according to NPR. (RELATED: Is A New Drug Called ‘Strawberry Breeze’ Being Sold To Children?)
Check Your Fact has reached out to the Pentagon for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.
This is not the first time a post has caused misinformation to spread. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim a 12-year-old would be sentenced to life in prison for receiving an abortion.