Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco sheriff's challenger offers advice in battle against synthetic drugs

DADE CITY — Pasco commissioners have been working with Sheriff Chris Nocco on an ordinance to combat synthetic drugs such as "Spice" or "K2." On Tuesday, they got some help from his opponent in the Nov. 6 election, former sheriff's Capt. Kim Bogart.

Bogart suggested borrowing some ideas from Adelanto, Calif., a small town outside Los Angeles, which crafted a unique ordinance to fight the sale of such drugs in convenience stores.

"They were dealing with exactly the same problem," said Bogart, noting that drug makers are constantly inventing new chemical compounds to evade specific bans on key ingredients. "What this ordinance does is it focuses on the sales and marketing of the product, which is, I think, an angle that works."

Such products are often sold under inconspicuous labels, labeled as bath salts, incense or other household products. Bogart said the ordinance allows officers to confiscate products based on several key factors, such as whether they look similar to illegal drugs and are priced significantly higher than the product they claim to be. Authorities say such drugs have been linked to delusional, violent behavior and, in some cases, permanent psychosis and deadly overdoses.

"It would take it off the shelves where it's not in front of our children," Bogart said.

County Attorney Jeff Steinsnyder said his staff has been working with Nocco's staff on a proposed ordinance that would also target marketing aspects and would put a store owner's business license at risk if officers confiscate such products.

"We'll be happy to look at the city of Adelanto and incorporate those provisions that work for Florida law," he said.

Steinsnyder said his staff, along with Nocco, plan to present a proposed ordinance to commissioners in October.

The Sheriff's Office has waged a high-profile campaign against Spice and other synthetic drugs. In conjunction with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, deputies raided a father-son outfit in June that sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of synthetic drugs each month from an Odessa warehouse. Nocco also launched a sticker program for stores to tout they do not sell such drugs.

Last month deputies tried a new legal strategy: They charged clerks at 15 convenience stores with possessing and selling imitation controlled substances. Undercover detectives went into those stores, asking for something that would get them high. Authorities say the clerks offered Spice, often from a stash kept behind the counter.

Because the clerks were charged with selling "imitation" drugs, it doesn't matter if the product contained any of the ingredients banned by lawmakers. Nocco called it a "unique" approach to "pressure" store owners and employees.

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 4 hours ago
Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

TAMPA — A 68-year-old man was arrested Monday on a first-degree murder charge, according to Tampa police.Officers took James Leon Jackson into custody at 2712 W Nassau St. in west Tampa at about 1 p.m. A warrant for his arrest had been issued Friday....
Updated: 4 hours ago
A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

In May 1914, a Hernando County grand jury decided not to indict John Davis, a black man accused of attempting to assault a white woman in a hotel. But days after he was released from the Citrus County jail, Davis’s body was found beaten with a ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., April 23, midday:40 874 5140e_SRit69262Mon., April 23, evening:76 974 2849e_SRit78236Fantasy 5Mon., April...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Waffle House slaying suspect arrested; veteran receives world’s most extensive penis transplant; more in U.S. news

Waffle House slaying suspect arrested; veteran receives world’s most extensive penis transplant; more in U.S. news

TennesseeWaffle House slaying suspect arrestedThe mentally unstable white gunman suspected of killing four people and wounding more at a diverse Nashville Waffle House was arrested near his apartment Monday, authorities said. Police and federal agent...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Armenia’s leader quits amid protests; van driver kills 10 in Toronto; more in world news

Armenia’s leader quits amid protests; van driver kills 10 in Toronto; more in world news

ArmeniaLeader quits: ‘I was wrong’Ten days of demonstrations forced the resignation Monday of the man who has led post-Soviet Armenia since 2008. The unexpected resignation prompted the jubilation of tens of thousands in capital Yerevan’s Republic Sq...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Deputies find parents who fled with newborn; 1-month-old is safe

Deputies find parents who fled with newborn; 1-month-old is safe

TAMPA — The 1-month-old infant reported missing Monday was found hours later about 300 miles north in Quincy, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Sage Cooper was reported to be unharmed, officials said, and Gadsden County sheriff’s ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Saudi-led airstrike at Yemen wedding killed at least 20

SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, killing at least 20 people including the bride, health officials said Monday, as harrowing images emerged on social media of the deadly bombing, the third t...
Updated: 6 hours ago