11 indicted on organized crime charges in synthetic drug case named
By BY GHENI PLATENBURG - GPLATENBURG@VICAD.COM
June 4, 2012 at 1:04 a.m.
Updated June 5, 2012 at 1:05 a.m.
Suspected of selling products such as "Sexy Zombie," "Scooby Snack" and "Wet XXX" led to the indictment of 11 people last Thursday on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and delivering controlled substances.
As of Monday afternoon, nine of the 11 defendants had been arrested.
Five stores, mostly novelty businesses, were raided on April 9 as law enforcement searched for synthetic drugs, said District Attorney Steve Tyler.
About 60 members of the Victoria Police Department and Victoria County Sheriff's Office simultaneously raided the Smoke N Rock, 6412 N. Navarro St.; Needful Things, 3608 N. Laurent St.; Cracker Barrel, 112 Sam Houston Drive; and the two locations of D&D Novelties at 1706 Houston Highway and 9501 N. Navarro St.
Law enforcement confiscated suspected drugs including synthetic marijuana and bath salts, which is like synthetic cocaine, and took them to a lab.
The defendants all delivered the substances in an amount of 400 grams or more, according to the indictments.
Donna Shook, one of those indicted, previously claimed to have raked in $8,000 to $10,000 a month from synthetic marijuana sales, surpassing sales of porn and adult toys.
"I have quite a few customers who are veterans and they have nightmares from serving in the military. The Veterans Administration won't help medically, so they turn to the incense to help," Shook, owner of D&D Novelties, said in a previous Advocate article. "I'll do whatever I can to help the veterans with this, because the VA sure isn't."
While she acknowledged that many of the products she sold clearly indicated on the label that they were not for human consumption, she said she had no control over how her clients used the products.
Tyler also plans to go after the suppliers of those synthetic drugs, even those out-of-state.