synthetic marijuana

ADACDET Beaumont office employees are Julie King, liaison counselor; Kara Wharto

The Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas is seeing a rise in abuse of meth, opiates and synthetic marijuana in the area.

Kara Wharton, a licensed chemical dependency counselor and team leader at the Beaumont office of the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas (ADACDET), said the non-profit organization services around 90-100 clients a month and the three aforementioned problems are the most common addictions seen.

“The numbers are growing,” Wharton said. “In this area, it’s methamphetamine” that’s most abused.

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A 35-year-old Kirbyville man with a lengthy criminal history has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston on March 31.

McGee Lamar Falcon pleaded guilty on Oct. 16, 2016, to conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine and was sentenced Friday to 204 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

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Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a new initiative on March 16 by the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) of his office to educate parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches and others on the dangers of illegal synthetic drugs. These illicit substances have become a growing threat to health and public safety in Texas, particularly among children and young adults, according to a release from his office. 

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Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Jan. 19 that his office has filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order stopping synthetic cannabinoid sales at the Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop in Harris County.

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In his latest effort to protect Texans from the scourge of dangerous synthetic drugs, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Jan. 18 against the Dallas convenience store Hi Flamez and its owner, Mohamed Bakr, to stop the sale of synthetic cannabinoids.

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Synthetic marijuana

Known on the street at K-2, spice, fake, fake bake, woo, Kush and a variety of other names, synthetic marijuana continues to plague Southeast Texas. Law enforcement officers believe the chemical compounds contained within the dangerous products, used by manufacturers to mimic the high produced by marijuana, are responsible for three recent deaths in the area.

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Police in Vidor arrested a local man for public intoxication after reportedly finding him lying on the ground covered in vomit outside a convenience store Sept. 5, reports Officer Joseph Snider of the Vidor Police Department (VPD).

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Jimmy Duriso was taken into federal custody along with 41 lbs of synthetic pot.

Beaumont narcotics detectives and officers with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have reportedly recovered 41 pounds of what they believe to be synthetic marijuana hidden inside a local auto repair shop and arrested one suspect in connection to a federal search warrant executed Sept. 7, Beaumont Police Department Officer Carol Riley reported. 

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Lumberton Police chief Danny Sullins reports officers recently made their largest single meth bust ever after discovering more than 400 grams of methamphetamine during a traffic stop April 27.

According to Sullins, officers made the traffic stop on Highway 96 in Lumberton.

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Look for the new spring issue of Vital Signs magazine this month. The magazine highlights the medical industry in Southeast Texas and also includes fitness tips and healthy recipes. It is distributed in physicians’ offices, at local hospital waiting rooms, pharmacies, and other locations across Southeast Texas. 

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