“What are the most-abused drugs in America today?” he asked. He quickly got the answer he was looking for: Prescription painkillers.
“Kids sometimes steal from their parents,” he said. “Or if you have a good kid, they may have a friend that comes over and uses your bathroom and leaves with some medicine.”
He said this is because most people don’t keep track of their medications.
He advised keeping prescription medicines locked up.
Prescription medicines which are popular on the streets include Vicodin, Xanax (“bars”), Oxycotin and Hydrocodeine, among others.
He said that in this area, Xanax is the No. 1 most-abused drug.
A single pill of Vicodin may go for $7; other medications could bring up to $10 each.
He pointed out that thousands of prescription painkillers were stolen from a Gilmer pharmacy a few years ago.
“Someone made a lot of money,” he said.
He used a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the different kinds of drugs and illegal substances and other hazards he looks for.
Marijuana, of course, is another popular illegal substance. He told a funny story of finding marijuana in someone’s garden, and the man and wife in the home claimed they didn’t know what it was.
The man had a tattoo of a marijuana plant on his arm. He said that he had gotten it 30 years ago, and had forgot what the plant looked like.
He showed pictures of marijuana in freezer bags, about a pound each. They recently confiscated about 15 pounds in one haul. The sellers use code words, like “popcorn,” for different grades of marijuana.
Some plants he and his fellow law officers have found growing behind or near houses have been more than seven feet tall.
Davis showed pictures of different forms of methamphetamine, including powder and crystal, or ice.
He said that the “shake and bake” method of mixing chemicals to make meth in a bottle is dangerous, as is the older method of “cooking” meth.
One person used “shake and bake” in his car when he was heading down the road, then threw the bottle in the back seat. It exploded, burning him severely and ruining the interior of the car.
Residue left in containers can be poisonous or explosive.
He showed slides of what meth does to its users teeth and other ill effects.
He said that meth sometimes sells for $100 a gram, so with 28 grams to an ounce, it can be profitable for dealers.
He said that meth use is prevalent in East Texas, with 19 of 44 cases requiring hospital treatment in the region in Upshur County.
Cocaine is also popular among druggies, and heroin use is “on the rise in Gilmer.”
Ecstasy can be made to look like candy, which would make it attractive to children.
K2, or spice, can cause extreme mental distortion.
One man on it, started cannibalizing his own flesh, gnawing on his arm. His dog started barking at him, so he grabbed the dog and started eating it alive.
“And I won’t tell you what a mother did to her child,” he said.
“Bath salts,” which have an effect like meth, are becoming more prevalent.
He also said that even in East Texas, drugs and drug dealing goes on it schools.
Anyone over 17 caught with illegal drugs can be jailed.
Druggies use many methods to hide their drugs.
He said he was once called to another county to help search a house for drugs.
In just a few minutes, he picked up what looked like a hair spray can and said “Here’s your drugs.” The officer who had called him in told him “I handled that three times and didn’t suspect it.”
Also, what looks like a water bottle may have water above the label and below the label, but the label hides a compartment for drugs.
Some new drugs are showing up which are combinations of other drugs, such as meth and ecstasy together.
“How bad is it (the drug problem)?” he asked. “It’s only going to get worse.”
He also told about the different routes drug gangs use to get their products from Central and South America into the U.S.
The drug cartels have plenty of money, he said.
He showed pictures of seized weapons. These included gold-plated machine guns.
In other pictures, he showed dozens of weapons seized from one drug cartel leader’s house, including grenade launchers, machine guns, rocket launchers and other devices.
Davis also showed a picture of a room piled high with bundles of cash.
If someone suspects a neighbor is involved in the drug trade, he advised them to get all the license plate numbers they safely can of vehicles going to and from that location.
He said that more drug agents are needed. He’s had to work without a partner for months, because the Sheriff’s Office has to be fully staffed on patrol.