A new story reveals what one California teen would do for a quick hit of Google chrome. A 15-year-old was busted by Rocklin police on Saturday for spiking her parents' milkshakes with powerful sleeping pills so she could get online. Her parents had apparently imposed a 10 pm household curfew for internet use, which she told police was "too strict." On Friday night, according to Lt. Lon Milka, the girl and her friend supplied her parents with milkshakes, which the parents say "tasted funny and were grainy." Still, they drank enough to fall fast asleep, only to wake up with "hangover symptoms," which persisted throughout the next day. After purchasing drug testing kits to use on themselves, and testing positive, they alerted the police. The girls were arrested on charges of conspiracy and willfully mingling a pharmaceutical with food, and were taken to juvenile hall. The District Attorney's Office will decide if the crime justifies adult punishment. Says Milka: "the girls wanted to use the Internet, and they'd go to whatever means they had to."
New video obtained by gossip gurus TMZ confirms reports that Twilight actor Bronson Pelletier did, in fact, urinate in public at an airport last month. The 25-year-old was arrested on "suspicion of drunkenness" at LAX on December 17 after peeing on the floor in the middle of a gate area. "No peeing...peeing did not happen," he told TMZ previously. But video footage gives the lie to his claims—although to be fair, he doesn't appear to have been in any state to remember. Witnesses say the actor was tackled by security after his urination, which occurred shortly after he was kicked off a plane for being too drunk. He was reportedly busted for possession of meth and cocaine earlier that month, but cops let him off with a warning that time. He now faces charges for public urination and will go to court on January 17. Pelletier's rep says he "realizes he has issues" and plans to undergo treatment.
The U.S. Navy recently released a public service announcement relating the horrors of the designer drug "bath salts." In a harrowing video (below), viewers look out through the eyes of a young man "jacked up" on the synthetic drug, as his friends and girlfriend turn into ghoulish zombie. "Bath salts not only will jack-up your family and your career," warns Naval Doctor and Officer, Lt. George Loeffler, in the ad, "they will jack up your mind and your body too." The video is part of a campaign rolled out last month to emphasize the Navy's "zero-tolerance policy on designer drug use," said Valeria A. Kremer, of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs. Bath salts set off a firestorm of media scaremongering last year when they were mistakenly blamed for the "Miami Cannibal" incident, when a man's face was nearly chewed off. But the Navy is evidently not aiming to put fear of bath salts to rest anytime soon, referring to the drug's hallucinogenic properties with the warning: "Bath salts: It's not a fad...it's a nightmare."
Could electricity one day overtake pain pills? New research suggests that electrical stimulation of certain brain regions may release an opiate-like substance that reduces severe pain, mimicking the effects of pharmaceutical pain-relievers. The naturally-occurring substance is a "mu-opioid," and pain relief occurs when it binds with a mu-opioid receptor—which is also how most pharmaceutical opiates (like morphine) work. “This is arguably the main resource in the brain to reduce pain,” says lead researcher Dr. Alexandre DaSilva, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. “We’re stimulating the release of our (body’s) own resources to provide analgesia. Instead of giving more pharmaceutical opiates, we are directly targeting and activating the same areas in the brain on which they work." In the recent study, researchers stimulated the brain of an individual who suffered from trigeminal neuropathic pain (TNP)—a type of chronic, severe facial pain. They used a low dose of electricity—2 milliamperes (mA)—which is significantly less than the dosage of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions. After one session, the patient’s threshold for cold pain improved by 36%, but not the patient’s clinical, TNP/facial pain. This suggests that repetitive electrical stimulation over several sessions might be required to have a lasting effect on clinical pain. But if successful, says DaSilva, electrical stimulation could foreseeably be used in place of highly-addictive pharmaceutical painkillers.
Los Zetas, widely regarded as Mexico's most powerful drug cartel, have reportedly diversified their activities in an attempt to become the most tech-savvy organization of its kind south of the border. The notorious paramilitaries now have their own radio network in order to keep an eye on police activity, and keep their trafficking business running smoothly. Faced with the need to build the right tech team to achieve this, they reportedly kidnapped a number of radio experts—and not one of the 36 missing radio technicians has been seen since. Colonel Bob Killebrew, author of Crime Wars; Gangs, Cartels, and US National Security, tells VICE: "In the United States, we often make the mistake of thinking about the cartels as just drug pushers, when they are actually military terrorist groups. They also deal in kidnapping, murder, extortion—all the crime you can do with a well-organized and ruthless group." Killebrew argues the tech advances made by Los Zetas only serve to further the cartel's scope for ruthlessness. "They have a paramilitary mindset...a chain of command, an appreciation of what technology can do to enhance paramilitary capabilities," he says. "If you’re a military guy who started such a group, one of your first concerns is communications. You can build communication networks at a relatively low expense if you have the expertise." Killebrew says the cartel represents "a new kind of 21st century criminal," and one with potential for destruction—not just within Mexico, but on a global scale. "These cartels are not the mafia—they’re different and they’re worse," he says. "And if you look at them as a global phenomenon, they have the potential to seriously challenge our civilization."
Although rumors of "terrorist activity" swirled after a young New York couple were recently arrested for keeping high-powered explosives in their swanky West Village apartment, cops quickly dismissed the two as "well-to-do junkies," chalking up their criminal activity to drug use. New evidence has now surfaced to support these claims: Morgan Gliedman, 27, and Aaron Greene, 31, were also arrested together last February, when an officer spotted the couple and another woman doing illegal drugs in a car. Greene was injecting heroin while the woman snorted the drug. When cops approached the vehicle, they found empty heroin bags on the floor, marijuana and a digital scale with heroin residue in one of the women’s purses. Greene also admitted that he had an unregistered rifle in the trunk and was ultimately sentenced to five months in jail. And just five days before that, Gliedman allegedly stole a man's backpack which contained a laptop computer, cellphone, wallet and credit cards, which she later used to make purchases. She has not been charged with theft in that case. Gliedman, a new mother, was due to complete pre-trial probation for drug possession next week, but it's likely that the case will be reopened now that police have found the explosives at her apartment, along with two shotguns, ammunition and several pages titled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia.”