An Ecstasy pill found in a child’s hamburger wrapper lead to the arrest of three Sonic Drive-In employees. On Friday, a manager of the SONIC in Taylor is facing charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Endangering a Child.
According to the Taylor Police Department, the pill was discovered during a family outing to pick up dinner at the SONIC Drive-In located at 1700 N. Main.
“The 11-year-old daughter was opening the hamburger for her 4-year-old brother. It was a kid’s meal,” said Henry Fluck, Chief of Police in Taylor.
But within seconds, the girl saw something suspicious.
“When she opened the wrapping, she noticed a pill. Being an 11-year-old, she asked her parents if this was candy,” said Chief Fluck.
The parents brought the entire kid’s meal and the pill to the Taylor Police Department. Officers were quickly able to do a field test which determined the pill was MDMA or Ecstasy.
Taylor police officers immediately went to the SONIC and arrested three of the six employees on duty.
The manager, 30-year-old Tanisha Dancer of Taylor, was wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Guadalupe County for Parole Violation - Larceny, a state jail felony.
Chief Fluck says during a search at the Williamson County Jail Dancer was found in possession of drugs.
“She was found in possession of MDMA or Ecstasy, three pills, the same type, the same size, the same markings that were found inside the hamburger wrapping,” said Chief Fluck.
On Friday, Dancer was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Endangering a Child.
Taylor neighbors say they cannot imagine how those parents felt at the time.
"No family ever wants to go to a fast food restaurant and be worried about kids getting served horrible drugs that could damage their kids or even kill them," said Michael Prock.
Two other SONIC employees were arrested.
35-year-old Jonathan Roberson of Taylor, was wanted on four outstanding warrants: Theft by Check, a class B misdemeanor out of Travis County, Driving While License Invalid, a class B misdemeanor out of Travis County, Bail Jumping/ Fail to Appear (Driving While License Invalid), a class A misdemeanor out of Travis County, and Bond Forfeiture out of Brownwood, Texas.
22-year-old Jose Molina of Taylor was arrested for possession of marijuana.
The Taylor Police Chief credits the parents' quick action for the arrests. He says instead of just posting the incident on social media, the family took the right steps to make sure other children wouldn't be in danger.
"Certainly, for a 4-year-old it is a harmful substance. It alters both mood and perception,” said Chief Fluck.
The Taylor Police Department notified the Texas Department of Health, the owner of the Sonic location, and the corporate office of Sonic.
Prock says he cannot believe the employees with the outstanding warrants were still allowed to work at the fast food restaurant.
"Really going through their background checks, if they're not done thoroughly, there's loopholes and there's slippages," Prock said.
The Sonic Director of Operations advised that they have terminated the employment of Dancer.
Taylor Police believe that there is no longer a risk to public safety following these arrests.
A corporate spokesperson for Sonic released the following statement:
On December 7, a foreign substance was found in a hamburger at the referenced SONIC Drive-In, which is owned and operated by an independent franchisee. The substance was discovered and removed. No guests were injured.
The franchisee takes guest safety and food safety very seriously. Local police are investigating this incident, and the franchisee is cooperating with police in their investigation.
Any additional questions about this incident should be directed to police as it is SONIC’s policy and practice not to comment on matters that are the subject of ongoing investigations or proceedings.