Drug Investigations

Drug Investigations

Wood County Sheriff's Department Drug Investigations

THE WOOD COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT IS COMMITTED TO AGGRESSIVELY ENFORCE THE USE AND SALES OF DRUGS WITHIN WOOD COUNTY.  THE WOOD COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT HAS ONE FULL TIME DRUG INVESTIGATOR. HIS JOB IS TO DEVELOP LEADS AND INVESTIGATE DRUG USE IN WOOD COUNTY.  IN THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, THEY HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL IN ENFORCING AND ARRESTING DRUG OFFENDERS. THE GOAL OF THIS PAGE IS TO EDUCATE YOU MORE IN WHAT DRUGS LOOK LIKE AND THE EFFECTS THEY HAVE UPON PEOPLE WHO USE THEM.  IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILLEGALLY SELLING DRUGS, CONTACT THE WOOD COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY.
YOU CAN ALSO VIEW THE NUMBER OF ARRESTS MADE BY OUR DRUG INVESTIGATORS, ALONG WITH HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEARS BIG ARRESTS. 


ALONG WITH THE INFORMATION BELOW, PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR ADDITION INFORMATION ON DRUG USE AND DESCRIPTIONS. CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW.  

Narcotics, Dangerous Drugs, and Marijuana

Narcotics

Cocaine

Cocaine as we see it on the street comes from the leaves of the coca plants which grow in South America. After the drug is extracted from the leaves it is then transformed by a crude laboratory, usually in Columbia, into what is known as "Cocaine Hydrochloride". This is the water-soluble form of the drug extracted from the leaves. This "cocaine" appears as a white crystalline powder or white crystalline chunks depending on its purity and type of cutting agent used by the street dealer. "Crack" cocaine on the other hand has the same beginnings but when it comes into the hand of the street dealer it is broken down into a solid form which is smoked. "Crack" cocaine looks like a light brown or beige crystalline rock with almost the same consistency as soap or macadamia nuts. Cocaine is packaged in a variety of ways; folded papers called "bindles", small vials, zip lock baggies and Tupperware type containers. "Crack" cocaine on the other hand is not normally packaged at all. It can be held in a pocket or in the dealers or users mouth due to it not being water-soluble. An assortment of paraphernalia is common to the use of cocaine because of the various ways the drug is used. Razor blades, pipes, mirrors, straws, metal rods, and syringes are some to name a few.

The euphoria experienced with cocaine is immediate and short-lived. The high lasting anywhere between 5-15 minutes. A feeling of well being, alertness, and stimulation are common amongst users. On the downside of the high the user may experience restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. This causes the user to become very dependent on the drug to the point of centering their lives on it. This dependency causes a cocaine user to disregard all normal needs associated with life such as; sleep, food, self-respect and love. Cocaine causes a person to be highly euphoric, dizzy, impaired divided attention, loss of coordination, restless and sweaty. An abuser will suffer from severe weight loss as well as stuffy or bloody noses. On the downside the user will become depressed, paranoid and irritable.

Cocaine has been popular for many years and will continue to be so. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that causes physical and psychological dependence. The cost of the drug is staggering, as a person becomes addicted. It can and will cause financial disaster for a family or business. The user will generally begin to steal from the home, then the neighborhood to support the habit. Users will also become dealers to assist in off setting the cost of the drug. Increased traffic in the neighborhood and suspicious activity will follow. As with any addictive drug crime follows the path of its use and sale. Neighborhoods see an increase in burglaries, thefts, and violence. The violence is usually a by-product of the fight for customers in a particular area. The sad result is the victims are usually innocent persons caught in the middle. Crack cocaine is one of the primary reasons for this. Cocaine, as with any addictive drug, poses more problems for the community than just having another addict on the street. Crime is always associated with the use of any drug. This is due to the simple fact that abusers can not support their habit on their own. All people of the community become prey, as property crimes increase. Violence also is part of the cocaine epidemic. Any family this day and age can be touched by the cocaine epidemic, from drive by shootings to residential robbery.

At the Wood County Sheriff Department we attempt to target any group or groups involved in narcotics, which includes street gangs, to eliminate violence from our community. As long as the community and police work together, the use of narcotics and the crime associated with it will decrease.

Heroin 

Heroin has been a part of the "Drug" culture for many years. Heroin is primarily used through injection causing wide spread concerns for all. Syringes lost or left behind by users carry disease and narcotics which can effect anyone who comes in contact with them. Syringes from heroin addicts have been found at bus benches, vacant lots by schools, alleyways and public bathrooms. Diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and tetanus are common amongst heroin addicts. Prostitutes are common users of heroin and can spread disease with the syringes they use and the service they provide. Prostitution and heroin go hand in hand. Prostitution is first used as a means to afford heroin and soon becomes a way of life as the addict's body and mind deteriorate. A neighborhood with a prostitution problem is a neighborhood with a heroin problem. Prostitution has been labeled by some as a victimless crime but in affect it has several victims. One victim being the addicted prostitute, the other the family of an infected customer who contracts HIV, and let's not forget the child who finds a syringe in the alley on the way to school.

Heroin is an opiate and is made from the resin taken from the seedpod of the poppy plant. The resin is then processed in a variety of ways resulting in the final product known as heroin. The processing method determines the appearance of heroin as it is seen on the street. "Black Tar" heroin looks like tootsie roll candy and/or dark caramel and has a strong vinegar odor to it. "Black Tar" heroin is packaged in small pieces of aluminum foil, tightly wrapped plastic and/or cellophane from cigarette packages. Because the preferred method of a heroin user is injection, you will generally see certain types of paraphernalia. This paraphernalia will include but is not limited to spoons with residue in the spoon itself along with a piece of cotton, the bottom side of the spoon having burn marks and the handle being bent downward somewhat. Syringes are also included in this paraphernalia along with soda bottle caps, which have the same use as the spoons. The spoons or caps are used to dilute and liquefy the heroin. The cotton in the spoon is for filtering the heroin as it is drawn into the syringe. If you ever encounter a syringe and/or spoon like described, don't touch it and immediately notify 911. Police will respond and dispose of the items.

To put a perspective on heroin, morphine is one of the strongest legal painkillers known and heroin is five times stronger. Heroin tends to relax the user. An immediate rush usually will occur and sometimes be accompanied by side effects such as restlessness, nausea and vomiting. A user of heroin may go "on the nod". This is best described as going back and forth from feeling alert to drowsy. Due to the use of needles with this drug, infections and abscesses on the body are common. Heroin users will normally have injuries that have been left unattended due to the drug's pain killing abilities. Addiction usually leads to malnutrition and weight loss. A person addicted to heroin may look like they are in a daze, almost to the point of sleep, have a dry mouth, low raspy voice, droopy eyelids, profuse itching and fresh puncture marks or sores covering their body.

Dependence is likely with heroin, especially if the person uses a lot of the substance or just uses it occasionally over a long period of time. The physical dangers of using heroin, are but not limited to, contaminated needles, contamination of the drug, using too much of the drug to the point of overdose, or combining it with other drugs such as cocaine ("speedballing"). As with any drug, once addicted, the addict will go to extreme means to obtain the drug. Burglary, shoplifting, and robbery are a few that are most often connected to a heroin addict. Whenever a person is under the influence of a substance they do not function reasonably. Usually all caution is thrown to the wind and this translates into the use of "dirty needles" and the spreading of the HIV virus.

Education is critical in combating the use of Heroin. Without education the motivation to get treatment will not be present until it is too late. The information provided here is to assist anyone in helping someone who may need this help or for helping himself or herself.

Dangerous Drugs

Methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine is a manmade drug, made with chemicals and chemical by products, usually in what is called a "clandestine laboratory". These chemicals on their own are extremely hazardous and can cause serious health problems for those contaminated. A "clandestine laboratory" can be very simple and set up in places such as a motel room, business parks, trailers, or vans. The process of making methamphetamine creates toxic waste, which requires hazardous materials experts to come to a site and complete the "clean-up" process. This contamination could cause one house or an entire neighborhood to be uninhabitable for years.

The appearance of methamphetamine is continually changing. This is due to new and innovative recipes being used in the "clandestine labs". Common appearances are a beige powder, an off-white crystalline rock, or a white powder. The smell of methamphetamine can also vary, but generally it will have a "chemical" type smell. Methamphetamine can be packaged a variety of ways; small zip lock baggies, folded papers or bindles, glass vials, and plastic pill containers are some of the more common.

Methamphetamine may be used in a variety of ways: injection, inhalation, smoked, and ingested. Each way is specific to a user preference and each has its advantages and disadvantages. A person who injects the drug will have a more immediate high but will become addicted quicker as opposed to the inhaler. Any way methamphetamine is used, it can and will become highly addictive. Users will generally need more of the drug to sustain the "high" they experienced when they first began. This is due to the tolerance that the user builds with the frequency of use. A person on methamphetamine will usually display restlessness, mood swings, excitation, and be very talkative. They will have little to no appetite, dry mouth, and grind their teeth. They will remain awake or "high" for days and as those days progress things such as violence, hallucinations, and paranoia become more and more evident. A normal "high" can last anywhere between 6-12 hours depending on the dose and tolerance level of the user. After approximately 4-7 days the user will crash. A crash causes severe depression causing the user to sleep for several hours at a time. As the body begins to recover the addicts desire for methamphetamine returns and another cycle of 4-7 days on the drug follows.

Hallucinogens/Psychedelics

Hallucinogens, or psychedelics, are drugs that effect a person's perceptions, sensations, thinking and self-awareness. Some hallucinogens are found in natural forms and others are synthetically manufactured. Some of the resurgence can be attributed to the cost effectiveness of the drug. A high with a hallucinogen can last for several hours as opposed to the short-lived high of cocaine and other illicit drugs. A single dosage unit of a hallucinogen can cost as little as three dollars. This is one of the main reasons for its use among young adults.

The high associated with hallucinogens can vary from feelings of panic, confusion, anxiety, and loss of control. Flashbacks may occur in some users along with severe mood swings, impaired thinking, unexpected outbursts of violence, and depression. Some users state they "see sound" and "hear color" along with the hallucinations they experience.

LSD:

The LSD normally found in this area is found in the form of blotter paper. The blotter paper is the carrying agent of the LSD. Liquid LSD is absorbed by the blotter paper and then dried. The dry blotter paper is then placed in the mouth and absorbed into the user's body. Blotter paper is a perforated paper usually sectioned into 100 doses. The paper will generally display a design or pattern. Some of the current designs have been, "dancing test tubes," "smiling suns," "Mickey Mouse," and "Goofey" The paper or doses are usually stored in cellophane from cigarette packages, small zip lock bags or plastic sandwich bags.

PSILOCYBIN:

Psilocybin is a drug derived from Mexican mushrooms. It is usually found in fresh or dried forms. A person can eat the mushroom or it can be smoked. Psilocybin mushrooms grow wild in some areas of the country. Psilocybin mushrooms are packaged in plastic sandwich bags, much like marijuana.

Marijuana

MOST ABUSED DRUG:

Marijuana continues to be the most abused and used illegal drug in the United States. There are approximately 12 million users in the United States.

HIGHER THC CONTENT:

THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the chemical in the plant, which causes the psychoactive effect desired by the abuser. Today's marijuana is not the same drug as it was 20 years ago. The informed illegal grower to push the plant into producing the highest grade, most potent product uses all special fertilizer, plant hormones and steroids, carbon dioxide, and advanced horticultural techniques.

Domestic marijuana is the most potent and highly prized cannabis product in the world. In 1970, the average THC content of the marijuana plant was 1.5 percent. Today's grower has been able to push the THC content to 8 to 20 percent.

HEALTH RISKS:

Besides the well known psychoactive effects caused by THC contained in marijuana, there is accumulating evidence of marijuana's harmful biological effects. Marijuana contains known toxins and cancer inducing chemicals, which are stored in the fat cells for long periods of time. Scientific research relates marijuana use to long term impaired effects on the brain, the respiratory system, the immune system, and the reproductive process. THC and marijuana smoke have been directly linked to miscarriage, uteri fetal death, still birth, and infant death just after birth, along with behavior and biological abnormalities of off-spring.

Marijuana use by expectant mothers affects the unborn babies. Studies in rhesus monkeys have demonstrated that THC readily crosses the placenta and enters the fetus.

MARIJUANA IS NOT A SAFE DRUG:

Early studies which indicating marijuana's harmlessness were based on marijuana with a low THC content. Today's marijuana produced by new cultivation methods often has up to 30 percent THC, 3000 percent higher than the marijuana available during the 1960's through the early 1980's.

MARIJUANA AND THE COMMUNITY:

We owe it to the citizens of our community to continue our efforts in reducing marijuana use and availability, as the battle over marijuana legalization continues. Marijuana impairs the judgment and performance of most users. Driving performance is affected causing frequent misjudgments of speed and requiring longer time for braking.

Marijuana use among adolescents is correlated with increased delinquency, unemployment, divorce, abortions, and health problems. Marijuana can also be a stepping stone to the use of other illicit drugs.

With all the listed problems associated with marijuana, it obviously is not the harmless drug some people wish you to believe it is. To effectively reduce marijuana use, continued education and enforcement is a must.

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