Two people are in jail after a drug bust on Booty Street near Six Points in Corpus Christi. Among the drugs found was synthetic marijuana, which remains an epidemic in that area of town.
It was a tip from neighbors that lead narcotics officers to investigate the home on Booty. Priscilla Castillo was charged with Manufacture/Delivery of Synthetic Marijuana, Possession of Synthetic Marijuana, and Possession of Marijuana. Christopher Saenz was charged with Possession of Synthetic Marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is less expensive, but far more dangerous.
"It's a cheaper form to get a high that could be potentially fatal," says CCPD spokesman Travis Pace.
According to Pace, the colorful packets are no longer sold legally sold in stores, and that can lead to even more dangerous homemade batches on the street, yet many still believe it's no more of a threat than regular marijuana. "A lot of people think because it's "synthetic", it's not the real stuff, so there's no danger, but we beg to differ. And we have the calls and the people going to the hospital to prove it," he says. Despite stepped up patrols in the area around City Hall, addicts are collapsing or getting violently ill every day as a result of smoking or ingesting the drug. The bad reactions require police involvement as well as urgent medical attention.
It remains a problem because it's so addictive, and police routinely find it in the hands or pockets of the addicts that call for help. Hundreds of dealers and users have already been arrested for it, but as Wednesday's arrest proves, there are plenty more still willing to take a chance that they won't be arrested or killed.
Last week, CCPD and other agencies announced a new website, www.stopdrugscorpuschristi.org.
The tip on the Booty Street house came in just before that went online, but police hope the community will use that and other methods to continue reporting drug activity in their neighborhoods.