Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SCA Class - 4

SCA Class - 4

    Thanks for joining me once again as we attend the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy Class 4 and learn about dangerous drugs with Detective Alvin Peavler.

    Arriving at class, we took our seats and received our handouts. Sgt. Davis did a quick introduction of Det. Peavler before turning the class over to him.
    Det. Peavler started out in the Sheriff’s department working in the jail before switching to work in the police force of his home town. However, after several years and no opportunity for advancement, he switched back to the Sheriff’s department and has been there ever since. “I love my job,” he told us. “I can show up for work in plain clothes and it doesn’t matter.” (He’s what you might call an “undercover man” in the Drug Task Force.) He is also a member of the SWAT team and said, “You’ll get to see me again at the Carthage range when you all learn about SWAT.” (Stay tuned for that report!)
    Some of the drugs we heard about were Marijuana, Crack Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin and K2. Our first drug that we looked into was Meth.
    I don’t know who ever came up with the stuff in the first place, but you have to be an idiot to want to put the stuff it’s made from into your body! Would you ever take the striker plates off match boxes, coleman fuel, iodine and several other chemicals and put them in your body? We watched a video of someone telling how to “cook meth” using the “shake and bake” method. By the way, that is highly dangerous and often explodes.
    Most meth cooks use their kitchen since that is where most of their ingredients are anyway. But instead of using their stove, they nearly always use a small camping stove. “I don’t know why unless it’s because they think they can toss the little stove out the window and no one will know they’ve been cooking,” Det. Peavler said. But when you’ve cooked meth even one time in a house, the smell will never leave. You can’t get rid of it unless you completely tear things out and start again. And just for your information, if you should go into a house that smells like cat urine and there is no cat, it’s a good chance that meth has been cooked there because that’s what it smells like. (Would you want to put something that smells like that into you?)
    The next drug was Marijuana. “That is the least dangerous drug,” Det. Peavler told us. “But it usually leads to worse things.” Some states have legalized Marijuana including Colorado and Washington. There were two other states, but he couldn’t remember which ones they were. Missouri tried to legalize it, but it didn’t pass. I pray it never does!
    The last drug we really talked about was K2. Clemson University in Illinois decided to develop this synthetic Marijuana. Why they thought it would be a good idea, I have no clue! Now the way this drug is sold is in potpourri. Yes, you read that right. They lace the potpourri with the synthetic drug and sell it. Those who want potpourri use it in the normal way, but the others smoke it. And not only do people now smoke potpourri, they also die from it. There have already been several deaths from it. Legal retail outlets sell the K2 which, by the way, has “Not for human consumption” on the package. But, as soon as the stores know that the law is wise to them, they no longer display it but keep it in the back just for those who ask. Det. Peavler told us that he was hoping to shut down the last place in the area that they knew of which still sold it. If they get the right evidence, they should be able to turn the whole thing into a federal case and work their way up the chain to also take down the suppliers.
    Speaking of strange things people do, did you know that bath salts have also become a source for drug addicts to get “high”? Det. Peavler told us, “I got a call once and when I responded, there was a man running in circles in the middle of the road. He thought the world was coming to an end and that aliens were after him. I tried to get the guy under control, but that guy was crazy! I fought him for a minute and a half before I could get to my radio long enough to call for help! He was hanging on to me trying to get my gun, my mace, my club, my tazer, my radio, and it was all I could do to keep him from them. I kicked and hit and scratched and still the guy kept coming back. By the time back up arrived I was exhausted. but even with several other guys, it took us four minutes to get the guy in handcuffs! We had to also shackle him because he kept trying to kick out the windows in the car. As soon as he was under control, I staggered back to my car and slid all the way down to the ground. I had no more strength. My sergeant came over and asked me if I was all right. I told him, ‘That guy had the better of me.’ The only way I managed to survive was by God’s grace and the fact that I was fighting for my life because I have a wife and children at home.” Once they got the man to the hospital and he had tests done, they found out that he had bath salts in his system.
    One story the detective told was when they discovered a large shipment of some drug coming in through the mail to someone. (I don’t know how they discovered it.) Well, the drug dog sniffed the package at the post office and identified it. Next they got a search warrant and opened up the package. Sure enough, it was the drugs. Now, the drug task force, being the nice guys that they are, decided that it would only be right to deliver the package to its rightful owner. Det. Peavler then got to dress up as a mailman and personally deliver it. But what the man waiting for it didn’t know was who was coming to visit only a few minutes after the package had been delivered. It was the SWAT team. “They kicked the door in and took him and his drugs,” Det. Peavler told us. (I don’t know if they literally kicked his door in or not.)
    We got to hear one final story before class was over.
    “It was one of those really hot summer days in the hundreds when I pulled a car over,” Det. Peavler began. “I went up to this car and all the windows were shut tightly. The driver opened his window only a few inches and I could feel the heat coming from the car. They had the heat going full blast and I could smell the meth. Well, I got the driver and his girlfriend out of the car, handcuffed them and had them sitting by my car. Backup had arrived and another detective from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and I began to search the car. Man it was full of stuff for making meth! It was a rolling meth lab! But we had to find the stuff they were cooking. The DEA guy was searching the front and I was searching the back. The smell was getting stronger and I discovered a briefcase. When I opened it I saw the bottles of cooking meth. I turned my head and called to the DEA, ‘I’ve got it,” when the bottles exploded. I ducked, turned my head and, to this day I don’t know why I did, but I took a deep breath. Instantly I couldn’t breathe and everything was going black. An ambulance was called, but by the time they arrived I was up and walking around though it was still difficult to breathe right. They wanted to take me to the hospital, but I kept insisting I was fine. ‘You really should go to the hospital,’ they told me. ‘No, I don’t want to go.’ My sergeant said I should go, so I agreed, but I wasn’t going in an ambulance. That’s just for babies. Well, we got there and they knew I was coming. They took some x-rays and told me I was fine. I went home. The next day I was having trouble breathing again and went back to the hospital. They said I was fine and sent me home. When my sergeant stopped by to see how I was doing the next day, I told him I was still having trouble breathing right, and he insisted that I go back to the hospital. So I did. This time I was admitted. But only a day later they again said I was fine and sent me home. A few days later I again went back to the hospital and this time I didn’t get out until 28 days later. They discovered that I had burnt part of my lung and I had to go in and have surgery. I’m now missing part of my lung because of the fumes I inhaled with that deep breath when the meth bottles exploded.”
     With a few final questions, class ended and we headed for home.

    I hope you learned something from this class and will join me next week as we get to meet the K-9 team. I’m sure it will be interesting! Until then this is Rebekah.

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