- Mexico Changes Drug War Focus to Dirty Money [LA Times]
- Ecstasy Reaction Sends Eight Teens to Hospital [Toronto Sun]
- Medical Marijuana Jeopardizes Liver Transplant [LA Times]
- 20-Year Meth Addict Turns Life Around, Becomes Professor [Tulsa World]
- British TV Star Charged With Cocaine Possession After Car Crash [Daily Mail]
- Vodka Mom's Likely DUI Defense: "The Smurfs Forced Me to Drink" [Gawker]
- Miley Cyrus Smokes Weed and Other Controversial Career Moves [Huffington Post]
One of the lesser-known traditions of Thanksgiving comes the day before it: it's known by law enforcement, and of course the media, as Black Wednesday. It's one of the biggest partying nights of the year and many across the nation, young and old, come to grief through excess alcohol. According to the National Health Institute, an estimated 10.8 million underage drinkers binge on Black Wednesday. That stat is fueled by orgy-like college parties, but also by enabling parents: during the holidays moms and dads tend to lower their guard on underage drinking, particularly when it comes to the joyous return of their much-missed babies from college. Experts warn against showing your affection by letting your kids booze. National highway statistics, indicating that alcohol-related traffic incidents surge by as much as 25% during the holidays, underline this advice. Of drivers involved in fatal accidents, those aged 21-24 are most likely to be over the blood alcohol limit—at 34.5%—but 18.8% of those aged 16-20 involved in fatal crashes are also at or above .08% BAC. “Holidays, in general, tend to provide more of an opportunity for minors to drink because it's more accessible and available to them," says Lisa Hutcheson, director of the nonprofit Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking. “It's very naïve for parents to think if they are allowing their kids to drink at home that this is the only place they are drinking."
A 42-year-old female humanities teacher is charged with raping a Brooklyn middle school student, now aged 14, after plying him with alcohol and marijuana. Claudia Tillary, 42, allegedly began a sexual relationship with the boy when he was a sixth-grader at the Stephen Decatur School, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn back in 2009—but he only recently ended it and spoke out. Cops swooped on the Crown Heights home that Tillary shares with her teenage daughter and young son yesterday evening. No sexual encounters took place on school grounds, insists a spokesman. Drugs and alcohol are commonly used by sexual predators to bribe victims and break down their inhibitions—former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky currently faces such accusations. Tillary is charged with rape, unlawful dealing of drugs and alcohol to a child, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse and acting in a manner injurious to a child. "All the kids liked her. She’s a good teacher. She was a pretty lady," says one eighth-grader who was taught by Tillary. "She was serious in class. I'm surprised that this happened."
Thirteen members of a notorious crime family—who dealt heroin and crack around the clock in Liverpool and dominated one area of the English city—have been jailed for a total of 82 years after several dramatic police raids. “Matriarch and banker” Carol Whitney, 53, hid 500 wraps of heroin in a hanging plant in her back yard when cops arrived. She was claiming government benefits despite making a fortune from drugs. Nearby, police chased her estranged husband Leslie through his house and into the back yard as he tried to destroy his own stash. More extended family and associates were arrested elsewhere; young mom Emma McKenzie, 29, tried to hide her dope in a diaper bag. Her baby, meanwhile, was being used as a decoy by McKenzie's own mom, Mary McCabe: the 53-year-old grandmother's car was pulled over and cops found drugs and ammunition under the seat her granddaughter was strapped into. There was also a military assault rifle in the trunk. One family associate, 37-year-old Matthew Mayor, was filmed tossing large packages of heroin from his car window during a high-speed police chase—plumes of powder billowed behind him as the packs burst. Cops say just one of the packs contained dope worth around $75,000. Hundreds of rounds of ammunition, thousands of ecstasy pills, a canister of CS military tear gas, several sets of body armor, and yet more weaponry and heroin, were also seized from the Whitney family hoard. "This was a very dangerous family whose daily business was drugs and guns,” says Liverpool Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Doherty. "They dealt with drugs near to schools. They have nice holiday homes, they go on exotic holidays...My description of them would be 'parasites.'"
A pilot and possibly some passengers abandoned a small, unscheduled twin-engine airplane that crash landed at Houston Executive Airport Monday evening, carrying a large quantity of marijuana. The unknown number of occupants made no prior contact with airport officials and ditched the plane after its nose landing gear collapsed as it touched down on the runway. Witnesses describe seeing the "shadows" of a person or people fleeing from the wreck. It's mystifying that no one was caught: the small airport is surrounded by a ten-foot chain link perimeter fence, with three layers of barbed wire on top. Yet the occupant(s) vanished, with no hole discovered in the fence. “You could certainly classify [the marijuana on board] as a lot more than just personal use,” says John Kremmer, chief deputy of the Waller County Sheriff’s Department, without disclosing the exact amount. He adds, “We have no idea who the pilot was or where it came from.” The incident comes as the US Senate considers an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to crack down on smugglers who use ultralight aircraft (ULAs) to move drugs. A loophole in the current law punishes traffickers using ULAs less severely than those who use cars or larger aircraft, like the one abandoned in Houston. In any case, you have to find them first.
- Obama Commutes Sentence of Federal Prisoner With Crack Conviction [Politico.com]
- Addicted Doctors Do Better in Treatment Than Most [Reuters]
- Australian Doctors Prescribe Anti-Heroin Drug to Gambling Addicts [Daily Telegraph]
- Feds Restore $12.5 Million in Meth Cleanup Funds [AP]
- Jose Pimentel Smoked Marijuana With NYPD Informant, Tried to Circumcise Himself [Huffington Post]
- School Handles Alcohol Allegations at Central Dance [The Star Press]
- South Carolina Woman Tried to Use Bibles to Smuggle Drugs to Inmate [WCNC]
- Vodka Ad Boasting "Christmas Quality" at "Hanukkah Pricing" Accused of Anti-Semitism [CNN]