K2 Seller Found in Centralia
CENTRALIA - Synthetic drugs are a growing problems across the country. But Centralia Mayor Tim Grenke didn't expect to find out K2 was sold in his town. Now he has plans to take action beyond the state's law against the drugs.
"I don't use that stuff. I don't buy it. I recently just found out what the packaging looks like," Grenke said.
Centralia Police Department began an investigation to find the town's seller. Last week, it used an undercover officer to purchase $100 of the mind altering drug. Now leaders are working on an city ordinance to change the punishment of selling K2 and other synthetic drugs.
Currently Missouri Law bans the selling of the drugs as a Class A Misdemeanor, handing out up to $1,000 in fines or one year jail time. Police Chief Larry Dudgeon wants to remove jail time and increase the fines. He says he doesn't want taxpayers to pay for the cost of keeping the violator in jail. Instead, under the local ordinance, he would not arrest violators, just hand out $500 fines. Once an officer finds a K2 seller, that person would have to pay a fine each time he or she is caught selling K2.
"I want whoever is trying to sell this in Centralia to go away," said Dudgeon. "If we can address this on a local level, though ordinances, it puts local police department to deal with a business man or business woman trying to sell this locally in Centralia which will expedite the process."
The Centralia Board of Aldermen will hear about the proposed ordinance during its next meeting on September 4. If passed, it will go into effect immediately.
Dudgeon wants to make sure the drug doesn't get into the hands of students.
"I don't want trouble in the school. We have a particularly fine school system in Centralia," he said. "I don't want there to be a problem. I believe that is what I am paid to do."
If the ordinance passes, Dugeon said he will make sure the seller in Centralia takes his or her "dog-and-pony-show" out of the city.