Florida Law Enforcement Focused on New Drug
A new drug has made quite the entrance on the Florida scene, causing a large number of bizarre events and attracting the attention of law enforcement officers and prosecutors in South Florida. The drug, known as flakka, is described by the National Institute of Drug Abuse as a dangerous synthetic formula called alpha-PVP, short for alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone. The drug is similar to a group of drugs called “bath salts,” which are made up of a synthetic form of the stimulant cathinone. The drugs have similar effects as certain amphetamines.
Flakka can be injected, swallowed, or smoked and is becoming increasingly accessible in the South Florida area. The drug is so inexpensive that many people have remarked that drug dealers are “basically giving it out.” Reportedly, one dose costs as little as five dollars and can affect a user for an entire day or more. During the “high,” flakka can cause a user to have extreme hallucinations, have super strength, become violent, and be in a psychotic state.
Because of the extreme effects of the drug, it is not surprising that it has law enforcement paying attention. Police officers in Florida have reported several different dramatic encounters with individuals who have either intentionally or accidentally ingested flakka. For example:
- More than one person has tried to actually break into police departments, one of whom tried to throw a rock through a window. The other man tried to break down the door and then escape over a fence, though was impaled and injured by a fence spike.
- On a Saturday night, a man ran down Broward Blvd. with no clothes on, actually trying to get hit by a vehicle since he was hallucinating that dangerous people were chasing him.
- A man was given a cigarette unknowingly laced with flakka that caused him to become “violent and vulgar” at both his halfway house and in the face of police. This man–a former heroin addict–stated that being high on flakka was the most frightening experience of his life.
Police state that individuals high on flakka do not respond to tasers or similar tactics due to their excessive strength, so encounters can become quite serious.
In response to the increasing amount of flakka in South Florida, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) took emergency measures in making the drug against the law. The DEA has also begun issuing serious charges against individuals believed to have brought the drug into the United States. Courts are also taking these cases very seriously, as one judge recently denied bond to a 22-year-old woman accused of bringing many kilos of flakka from Hong Kong. She will wait in federal prison while she faces felony charges for importing an illegal substance with intent to distribute.
Contact a Boca Raton criminal defense attorney for help
Any type of drug charges can be serious, especially involving substances that law enforcement are specifically targeting. If you have been arrested for importing, selling, or possessing flakka or any type of drug, call an experienced Boca Raton criminal defense lawyer at Lavalle Brown & Ronan at 888-646-1315 as soon as possible.