Pubdate: Mon, 13 Sep 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Gladys Alcedo, Register Staff


HAMDEN -- A Florida man trying to sell date rape drugs at a local college
campus was arrested after a shoplifting incident, police said Sunday.

Police don't believe the suspect actually sold any of the drugs.

Shawn Lee Brock, 19, is charged with possession of narcotics, possession of
narcotics with intent to sell, fourth-degree larceny and criminal impersonation.

The arrest prompted police to issue a warning to the community and led to
the first seizure in town of the drug, Rohypnol.

Anyone who takes the drug, known on the street as "Ruffies," can be rendered
unconscious or weak so that it's difficult to put up any resistance, said
Sgt. Steve Cahill, head of the Police Department's Special Operations Unit.
When the drug wears off, it can affect memory or cause amnesia.

"Rapists are using a new weapon to overpower their victims. When they talk
about date-rape drug, that's it," said Cahill, who has been working for 16
years in the narcotics unit. "It comes out of Mexico and we don't see a lot
of it. It's the first time I've seen it."

The pills -- which are odorless, tasteless and colorless -- can be dropped
into drinks without anyone's knowledge, Cahill said.

The special unit received a tip at around 9 p.m. Saturday that someone was
trying to sell the drug, Cahill said.

Cahill warned the community to:

Not drink any beverages from containers opened by someone else, a punchbowl,
anyone else's drink or a container being passed around.

Not leave drinks unattended.

Bring your own drinks.

Witness first-hand a drink that's poured for you.

Discard drinks that have an unusual taste or appearance.

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D