An Idaho nurse who used her job to facilitate her own prescription drug abuse for years—and spent a brief spell in jail—has now got her nursing license back. And she's speaking publicly about her second chance. Mother-of-two Dedra Butler, from Idaho Falls, graduated from teenage alcohol and marijuana use to abusing painkillers and Valium in her 20s. As a nurse, she found it easy to obtain her drugs: "I decided to use [my doctor's] DEA number and start calling in my own pills.” At that time, Butler felt she had her drug use under control: "I'm a nurse. I knew what was wrong with me... I was in denial,” she says. Years later, realizing she was a full-blown addict, she considered suicide. But a "higher power spiritual event" prompted her to go to the hospital instead, she recalls—and to turn herself in. Because of her cooperation, she spent only seven days in jail and had her nursing license revoked. And her children weren't taken from her, as she feared. Today, coming up to three years clean and due to get married in the summer, Butler has had her nursing license reinstated—just as long as she sticks to the five-year recovery plan stipulated by her employers. “I am a completely different person,” she says. “A person has to ultimately say to themselves in their heart, ‘I'm done. I've had enough, and I'll do what it takes to get better.’”
Police in Mexico city have arrested Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, 33, an infamous, high-ranking enforcer in Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman's powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Behind the mirrored walls of Torres Marrufo's basement gym police discovered a secret room; inside was a cache of guns from the discredited US "Fast and Furious" program and a number of other powerful high-grade weapons, such as an anti-aircraft machine gun. "We have seized the most important cache of weapons in the history of Ciudad Juarez," claims Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte. Torres Marrufo was wanted for a long list of cartel-related crimes including murder, extortion, kidnapping and sale and drug distribution—he also allegedly masterminded the 2009 massacre of 18 people at a Ciudad Juarez drug clinic. Cartels often prey on recovering addicts at such facilities, using their addictions to force them into their ranks—and making them potential targets for rival gangs.
Barry Bonds has finally got his batting privileges back. Following his conviction for felony obstruction of justice for lying under oath before a grand jury at his 2003 hearings on steroid use, he wasn't permitted to handle any "firearm, ammunition, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon.” Baseball bats fall into the “destructive device or other dangerous weapon” category. Which is rather unfortunate for someone who enjoys baseball—although in Bonds' hands more than anyone's, a bat could truly be said to have destructive potential. The 47-year-old former San Francisco Giants star appealed to a federal judge and got baseball bats exempted from his restrictions. Bonds denied 2003 charges that he used anabolic steroids while training with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, saying he didn't know the creams and injections being given to him were anything more than legitimate supplements. He was then charged with perjury and obstruction of justice and convicted in April 2011. Though many years retired, Bonds still holds the all-time Major League Baseball record of 762 home runs.
Details from a police report on Arlington city council member and deputy mayor pro tem Mel LeBlanc were released Monday, revealing that the Texas pol obtained obtained marijuana and meth from prostitutes over the past several years. The cops began investigating LeBlanc since July 2011, when his doubtless long-suffering wife, Candy, called 911 to report that she thought her husband was on drugs—even though he'd released from rehab just two weeks earlier. Candy handed over a bag of crystal meth she found in their home, and revealed that LeBlanc had admitted to being on K2—a synthetic substance that mimics weed—on the day she'd called for help. Police also found a glass pipe inside the politician's house. In a recent interview, LeBlanc admitted to getting drugs from prostitutes, but denied relapsing after returning from rehab. He said he didn't know where the meth found in his home came from. A grand jury decided not to prosecute him for drug possession in December.
In the wake of a spate of painkiller-inspired robberies and shootings at pharmacies in Long Island, NY, one store has turned itself into a fortress, employing some of the most high-tech and extreme measures yet seen. Numerous security cameras and doors, ID verification through drivers' licenses and a guard packing a Glock 9 millimeter are just some of the tactics that Linden Care in Syosset is using to protect staff and customers. In case that's not enough, they'll also be introducing bulletproof glass next week. "We're carrying the medications that nobody wants to carry," says store co-owner Marc Wiener— meaning addictive pain pills like OxyContin. He says of the new security regime, "We're able to go home at night knowing we're doing the right thing for ourselves and for our patients." Local police are getting involved in the effort to protect pharmacies as well. Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki says risk assessments from counter-terrorism teams are now available to help pharmacists secure their stores.
Bronx singer Jamar Rogers is taking his shot at music stardom on NBC’s The Voice. The 29-year-old struggled with addiction to crystal meth; he's been sober for six years, but sadly contracted HIV through his past drug use. “I really do believe I’m the comeback kid,” said Rogers, just before taking the stage to perform the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" well enough to get judge Cee Lo Green to take him on to his team. This isn’t the first time Rogers has been seen on TV; three years ago he auditioned for American Idol. The producers there knew of his past drug use, but not of his HIV diagnosis. "I did talk to them about the drug use. I was very candid...But I was not in a comfortable place to talk about being HIV-positive. I was worried that the producers would find out, and I hadn't come to terms with it myself,” said Rogers. “I had to finally just stand up and face the music. And one of the ways I did that was by volunteering at some amazing organizations in New York that dealt with people who were living with HIV, and I began to see other human faces for it, and it began to change my own prejudices." Since his audition aired Monday night, the singer has been overwhelmed by supportive messages from fans. “I can't believe I was scared for so long,” he says. “Because people...are so supportive, man, and I just can't believe it. I can't believe how cool people are being."