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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

drug gangs

5/03/12 2:01pm

Aryan Nation and Latino Gangs Form Drug Alliance

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For drug gangs, "one love" is drug money.
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In a tale of racial harmony that's hardly heart-warming, an Aryan Nation gang and a Latino gang put aside their differences to sling meth and heroin together in Seattlebut the DEA recently put an end to the odd union. Agents tapped the phone line of 34-year-old Todd Robert Hamilton—leader of white supremacist gang “The Hated,” who is wanted for dealing meth and heroin, burglary, forgery, “organized shoplifting” and murder. After eavesdropping on him and his girlfriend hustling drugs, the DEA discovered Hamilton purchased his supply from local Latino gangsters. After following one of the drug runners, they found $4,000, a glass meth pipe, a 9mm handgun and several ounces of meth in hidden compartments in the car. Unsurprised by the unlikely partnership, a DEA spokesperson says they see white supremacists and Mexican gangs hand-in-hand in the drug dealing business all the time—dating back to a long-standing alliance formed between the Mexican Mafia and Aryan Nation prison gangs in California in the 70's. "The color that matters is not red or blue, or black and white—it's green," says Kevin Crenshaw, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent in charge of the case. "It's about money. That's what drives everything. They're buying product, they're selling product. At the end of the day what drives all of them is money."

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By Bryan Le

clown crime

5/03/12 1:09pm

Armed Clown Robs Rehab for Rx Pills

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Have you seen this man? Photo via

If you were always terrified of clowns, your fears may have been prescient. The circus came to town in West Virginia when residents at Teays Valley Nursing and Rehab Center in West Virginia were subjected to an armed robbery from a man dressed as a clown and fiending for prescription pills and drugs. The bizarre incident began when the man broke through a back bathroom window while dressed in a clown mask and scrubs, wielding a gun and ordering a nurse to get down on the ground. Police say the suspect demanded pills and stole them from the nurses' cart before clambering out the same window he came in—presumably not wearing the shoes to go with his mask. The remaining patients and nurses at the center were either asleep or unaware of what was happening. Detectives have been interviewing and trying to get more information to crack the case, while the nursing home says it's taking extra precautions to prevent any similar incidents.

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By McCarton Ackerman

Bad Sports

5/03/12 11:51am

Booze Ban at Boxing Match an "Insult to El Paso"

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Chavez and Lee are ready to rumble.
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Texas state senator Jose Rodriguez has described a ban on alcohol at a hotly-anticipated boxing match in El Paso as an insult. In a letter to the officials at the University of Texas—which is hosting the June 16 fight and imposed the booze ban—Rodriguez, an El Paso native, writes that the policy "perpetuates the idea that our community is unsafe or that El Pasoans and other attendees cannot be trusted if alcohol is available." The middleweight bout, between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee, is expected to pull in over 40,000 fans, but has a troubled history—university officials nearly didn't allow it to take place at all, because of fears that leaders of the rival Sinaloa and Juarez Mexican drug cartels would show up. The cartels have now reportedly declared the event a "neutral zone." Sen. Rodriguez now wants the alcohol ban overturned, arguing that it implies local officials can't be trusted to handle security, prevents the university from making money, and promotes off-site drinking instead.

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By Will Godfrey

anti-drug drugs

5/03/12 10:59am

Anti-Smoking Drug Could Help You Cut Back on Booze

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Smoking and drinking often go hand, in hand.
Photo via

The smoking-cessation drug vareniclinemarketed by Pfizer as "Chantix"—could help majorly curb drinking, according to a study of heavy-drinking smokers at the University of California, San Francisco. Study participants, who were seeking treatment for smoking (not drinking), were given either the drug or a placebo—and those who were given varenicline were found to have reduced their average number of drinks per week by 36% by the end of the study. A previous study at the University of Chicago on a smaller test-group also found Chantix decreased smokers' propensity to drink. Lead author of the UCSF study Dr. Jennifer Mitchell notes that taking the drug did not impact the frequency of participants' drinking, but it did significantly decrease the amount they drank once they started. A drug that effectively helps individuals cut back on alcohol consumption could be immensely helpful in reducing overall harm caused by alcohol abuse, says Mitchell: “If you currently drink seven drinks a night, and we can turn that into two or three, then you’re not only drinking at a level that’s going to harm you less, you’re less likely to harm others, as well. If we could lower the rates of drunk driving, spousal and child abuse and other secondary effects of alcoholism, that would be tremendous.” 

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By May Wilkerson

headlines

5/03/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: May 3, 2012

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More like DRINKO de Mayo! Photo via

By May Wilkerson

Bobby Brown

5/02/12 5:00pm

Bobby Brown Denies Getting Whitney Into Drugs

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"I'm not the reason she's gone." Photo via

In Bobby Brown's first interview since Whitney Houston’s death—airing Wednesday and Thursday on Today—the R&B singer denies responsibility for his former wife's drug problem. Brown recalls having dinner with Houston and their daughter Bobbi Kristina, the week before the singer's death. "She had this glow about her that was just, you know, incredible,” he says. He assumed that "she must be doing really well, because she looked really well...She just looked like she was in a good place." When interviewer Matt Lauer asks how he felt about the cocaine that was discovered near Whitney Houston's body, Brown replies: "I was hurt… because me being off of narcotics for the last seven years, I didn't know she was struggling with it still. But at the same time...It's a hard fight to...maintain sobriety that way." He says he's saddened that people believe he was a bad influence on his ex, claiming that she was doing drugs "way before" they got together. In fact, he says, "I didn't get high before I met Whitney...I smoked weed, I drank the beer, but no, I wasn't the one that got Whitney on drugs at all. I'm not the reason she's gone." After all they went through, Brown still says: "I love that woman with everything that I am. And I believe she loved me the same way. We wouldn't have been able to make the most beautiful girl in the world without love. And that's the truth."

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By Valerie Tejeda

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