Counterfeit prescription pills loaded with fentanyl a growing menace in overdose crisis. ‘It scares the hell out of me.’
The DEA says fentanyl has been passed off as legitimate painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also showing up in cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA.chicagotribune.com
How much Texas gets from multistate, $26 billion opioid settlement hinges on how many local governments sign on
The state and its political subdivisions could get up to $1.5 billion from the settlement. But some local governments are considering pursuing their own lawsuits against drug makers and distributors.
Officers seize gold-plated pistol, nearly $44,000 in cash and 2 kilos of cocaine after routine traffic stop
A routine traffic stop ultimately resulted in the seizure of a gold-plated pistol, nearly $44,000 in cash, two kilos of cocaine and a rifle, Port Arthur authorities said in a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PortArthurPoliceDepartment/" target="_blank">Saturday release</a>.
Experts present details about finding first fentanyl-laced ecstasy tablet in Houston area
HOUSTON – The Houston Forensic Science Center discussed the latest on fentanyl this week, including an 87% increase in fentanyl cases the center saw last year. When it comes to some of the problems connected to the drug, Rania Mankarious, the chief executive officer at Crime Stoppers of Houston, isn’t holding back. Vaughan Gilmore is the director of addiction services at The Menninger Clinic, a Houston facility that treats psychiatric and addiction issues. Representatives from the forensic science center, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Houston Police Department and the Houston Health Department talked about fentanyl and its harsh effects on Thursday at 10 a.m. AdAccording to James Miller, the manager of the Houston Forensic Science Center’s Seized Drugs Unit, some pills appear to be legitimate until they are tested.
7 people indicted for selling drugs in Galveston County crack ring
HOUSTON – Seven Houston-area residents have been indicted for selling drugs in Galveston County crack ting, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. Smith Henry Jones, 40, and wife Lekisha Marie Jones, 42, both of Houston; and Harold Damon Brown, 43, and Dejon Nicole Thomas, 38; both of La Marque were all arrested Thursday. They will now face federal charges for their involvement in distributing cocaine to residents of La Marque and Texas City, according to a release. Latoya Vonea Worthy, 30, La Marque, was also charged. Five of the counts allege Allen and Thomas possessed with intent to distribute either cocaine or crack, according to a release.
Former HPD officer sentenced to 87 months in prison on drug conspiracy charges
HOUSTON – A former officer with the Houston Police Department has been ordered to prison after admitting her guilt in a Houston-area cocaine conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Wednesday. On Jan. 16, 2020, 41-year-old Julissa Diaz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. At that time, she admitted she stopped a vehicle containing cocaine and arrested the occupant to allow others to steal the drugs. “Julissa Diaz used her position as a sworn police officer to commit these crimes. On Nov. 8, 2018, Julissa stopped and arrested the occupant who was actually an undercover officer posing as the drug courier.
Houston woman sent to federal prison for attempting to import over $1M in meth
HOUSTON – A 21-year-old Houston woman was sent to federal prison after being convicted for attempting to import approximately 55 kilograms of meth, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. On May 23, 3020, Diaz arrived at the Hidalgo Port of Entry driving a Ford truck and applied for admission into the United States from Mexico, according to a release. During an inspection, officials conducted an X-ray examination of the vehicle which showed anomalies in the gas tank area of the vehicle, according to a release. Officials seized more than 120 pounds of meth with a street value of over $1 million. Diaz admitted that she was trying to import the meth into the United States from Mexico to deliver them to another person in McAllen, according to a release.
Can Amazon Pharmacy save you money on prescription drugs?
Amazon jumped into the pharmacy business late last year with Amazon Pharmacy. AdThey are also big Amazon shoppers, so they wanted to see if they could save some money by getting their refills with Amazon Pharmacy instead of Costco. An Amazon representative told KPRC 2 News Pam could call her insurance company to ask what her co-pay will be with Amazon Pharmacy. AdPioglitazone, for example, is more than five times the price at Amazon Pharmacy at $88.34 compared to Costco’s price of $17.10. If you don’t have insurance, Amazon Pharmacy prices are lower for Prime members versus non-Prime customers.
13 charged in drug sales over apps near University of Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – A drug ring largely operated by current and former University of Texas students used apps and social media to sell counterfeit Adderall and Xanax often laced with fentanyl, the Department of Justice announced Friday. Justice officials said 13 people, including eight current and former students, have been charged with trafficking LSD, fentanyl and methamphetamine pills. Prasad accepted payments for the drugs via apps including Venmo and Paypal, plus in cash. Former University of Texas at San Antonio professor Rose Rodriguez-Rabin is accused of providing Prasad with methamphetamine-laced counterfeit drugs “on numerous occasions,” Sofer said. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
In economic crisis, Texas Democrats push to legalize marijuana. Key Republicans likely stand in the way.
State Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg has proposed putting the question of legalization to Texas voters. And even less controversial measures, like lowering criminal penalties for marijuana possession, have fallen flat in the Texas Senate. Dan Patrick, a staunch conservative, at the helm of the upper chamber, it remains unlikely that a legalization bill will make it out when the Legislature reconvenes in January. But given the state of the economy and more states following the trend to legalize and tax cannabis, they said action was needed. A report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that, in 2018, Black people in Texas were 2.6 times more likely to be arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession than white people.
The unexpected winner on election night? Drugs
While we may not know if President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential election for a while longer, there was one clear “winner” on election night, and that was recreational drugs. States across the country have been legalizing recreational marijuana every election cycle, and 2020 was no different. Residents in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota all voted to legalize recreational cannabis, and South Dakota also legalized medical marijuana, along with Mississippi. South Dakota became the first state to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in the same election. For the first time in U.S. history, the state of Oregon decriminalized possession of hard drugs, as well as voted to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.
6 former HPD officers, including Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant, face 15 new felonies linked to botched Harding Street raid
HOUSTON – Six former Houston police narcotics officers, including Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant, face new felony charges after being accused of falsifying documents about drug payments to informants. Five HPD officers were also hurt in the gunfire. If convicted, the tampering charge carries a penalty of between 2-10 years in prison and the theft charge carries a fine of between $2,500 and $30,000. If convicted, the tampering charges carry a penalty of between 6 months and 2 years in jail. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/1j4bt5I1Ho — Houston Police Officers' Union (@HPOUTX) July 1, 2020KPRC 2 has covered the botched Harding Street raid extensively.
Harris County attorney announces lawsuit against generic drug manufacturers over ‘massive price-fixing scheme’
HOUSTON – Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announced Monday that he is suing generic drug manufacturers over what he considers to be a “massive price-fixing scheme” that he said costs Harris County millions and the U.S. healthcare system billions in inflated drug prices. Ryan said the 43 companies named in the suit were part of an “overarching conspiracy to significantly reduce competition and increase prices of at least 181 generic drugs across the entire industry.” Ryan said that as a result of this, prices of generic drugs went up at unprecedented rates. “These manufacturers routinely and systematically sought out their competitors in an effort to reach agreements to allocate market share and maintain or raise prices,” Ryan said. Ryan said he is seeking both temporary and permanent injunctions against the companies and also reimbursement for the county. “For years, these manufacturers have leveraged the culture of cronyism within their industry to artificially inflate prices,” Ryan added.
Drugs found in Red Bull can tossed from car during chase, police say
HOUSTON – Houston police are looking for a third person they said was involved in a police chase Friday that started in north Houston. The officer decided to run the license plate which came back to a different car, Crowson said. The officer later attempted to stop the car but the driver refused to stop, Crowson said. Police said a Red Bull can was thrown out of the car during the chase, Crowson said. Police said the two other people attempted to ditch the car and flee, but officers managed to catch them.
Officials: 2 Texas City ISD students hospitalized after ‘taking something’ with other students at school
TEXAS CITY, Texas – Four Texas City Independent School District students are under investigation after one of the students was hospitalized with an apparent drug reaction, officials said. Texas City ISD police said it was near the end of the school day when one student had a severe reaction after “taking something” with three other students. Police said school officials called the parents of the other three students involved and were given the option of taking them to the hospital, and one student’s parent said yes. Police said the other two students involved were treated by the school nurse. It is unknown if any students would face criminal charges in connection with the incident.
Generic drugs blocked from entering market
Generic drugs blocked from entering market Drug companies have developed maneuvers to delay entry of generic drugs. Companies tell doctors to transition their patients to a newer form of medication, one that has additional patent protection and is unlikely to go generic. Dr. Jon LaPook reports.cbsnews.com