Traffic Stops Leads to Possession of Controlled Substance Ar
LOS FRESNOS – This time of year, a minor traffic stop can turn into a felony charge.
The number of officers in Los Fresnos is short compared to the number of major arrests made in less than two weeks. Since Mar. 5, 47 people have been arrested.
The detainees Los Fresnos Police Department Commander Juan Rodriguez describes are kids between the ages 17 and 26.
What starts as a traffic stop that could end with just a ticket does not end when officers get a look inside the vehicle.
They are discovering a drug they have never dealt with while patrolling the roads.
“Possession of controlled substance, Xanax bars, THC oils that we're finding,” said Rodriguez.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical found in the cannabis plant. THC oil along with the other drugs might be found hidden in drink containers.
Tropical Texas Behavioral Health’s Substance Abuse Director Stephen Vega says THC is what impacts reaction time, a necessary ability for drivers.
“THC has more of an impact on people's behavior. Having a euphoric effect has pretty significant consequences the higher the potency is,” said Vega.
Concerned Los Fresnos native, Nef Tali Manrrique, says, “Hopefully the police department is taking care of that. We just want to make sure we have a safe city.”
Los Fresnos police test for the drug using a “Narc kit”.
The suspected substance is put in a bag the kit provides. If it turns purple, get ready for the cuffs.
Rodriguez says this is the first time the department has made an arrest for possession of THC oil.
“Twenty-four years that I've been in law enforcement, it's fairly new to me. I haven't been in the streets in a while. It's fairly new. I heard THC, and I was like, 'What is THC?’” said Rodriguez.
Vega explains, “It's called a lot of different names. Really, the oil is just another form it comes in. The product of having THC in it is a chemical component that comes from cannabis or marijuana I guess is a commonly known name.”
What is not common, he says, is it showing up in the Rio Grande Valley. Though, as the trend grows in popularity, its rarity, may not last long.
Vega adds the difficult part with detecting THC oil is that it doesn’t have a scent. The danger in that, one may not know how much one is ingesting, which could lead to an overdose.
THC can be in more than just oil. It can come in many different forms such as wax or candy.
It may also be hard to come off the addiction. Withdrawals may last weeks to months.