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Flesh-Eating: Drug Krokodil

A newly reported case of krokodil in Ohio has a local sheriff offering drug users shocking advice.

A needle drug user in Athens County who had pus-filled, scaly scars where she had injected told detectives that she bought what she thought was heroin from a dealer who had in turn got his supply from Columbus.

After seeing the wounds, Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly told 10TV that he’s convinced the drug she got was krokodil, an injectable heroin substitute with impurities that destroy blood vessels and cause flesh to rot off the bone. That concern has led the sheriff to advise users to get their drugs from a source that they trust.

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“I’m hoping that they won’t use heroin at all, but I’m not that naive. To say ‘get your heroin from a trusted source’ sounds ridiculous coming from a sheriff,” Kelly told the station. “But if you’re going to have to get your fix, you’re not going to want to get ahold of krokodil.”

Krokodil, a street drug that is made by cooking crushed codeine pills with household substances like paint thinner or gasoline, leaves green, scaly scars on users. Although multiple cases of the drug have been reported by doctors and local law enforcement across North America since September, the Drug Enforcement Administration has yet to confirm that the drug is present in the United States.

In order for the DEA to confirm krokodil’s presence in the United States, agents would have to catch the drug in production or confirm the presence of desomorphine (the active ingredient in krokodil) and household hydrocarbons in a sample, an agency spokesman told The Huffington Post on Friday.

But to Kelly, the threat is real and a cause for concern.

“I’ve been worried about methamphetamine and heroin for years,” Kelly told the station. “This just gives us another drug to be worried about.”

Officials skeptical of the drug, which was first reported in Russia several years ago, have suggested that the sores on users’ skin could come from bacterial infections spread by using dirty needles.

If that is the case, harm-reduction practices such as using clean needles from needle exchanges could help reduce the incidence of the gangrenous sores. But with krokodil, the damage to the body occurs from the impurities in the drug itself.

“If it’s on the table of our drug users, it’s gonna get out there,” Roger Lowe, who runs a traveling needle exchange in Northeastern Ohio, told WKYC in October. “I think we’re gonna see more of it and I’m terrified of what’s gonna happen.”

Identity Theft Victim Spent 7 Weeks in Jail

“It was hard, it was tough. Being in jail for something you didn’t do,” Bryant D. Davis explains. Davis would have never imagined something like this happening to him-especially NOT in front of his own house in Little Rock.

Davis continues, “He asked me, did you have any warrants? I was like no. He ran it and was like man, I thought you didn’t have any warrants and I said I don’t. He said it shows that shows that you have a warrant out of Bastrop, Louisiana.”

http://liarcatchers.com/identity_theft_investigation.html

Falsely accused, arrested and extradited to Morehouse Parish Jail in Bastrop, Louisiana, Davis spent a total of seven weeks behind bars, charged with bank fraud and attempt to commit bank fraud. He says, “I told him that day, that moment, I’m a victim of identity theft.”

In surveillance video from September of 2012 in Bastrop Super Food, you can see a black male cashing a fraudulent check. This man used Davis’ license, but that man is not Bryant Davis. Davis explains, “No one would help me in the situation, no one would talk to me or anything like that. They wouldn’t even point me in the direction to go in.”

Feeling like he had nowhere to turn, Davis reached out to his father to see what he could do. His dad, Bryant K. Davis says, “My main goal was to get him back here with us. We weren’t stopping until we got him here.”

Getting no cooperation from officials in Bastrop is what led Davis’ dad to enlist help from a special investigator at the Arkansas Attorney General’s office. He explains, “Got them to actually look at the video. And after they looked at the video, there was no question that they had the wrong person.”

After spending nearly two months behind bars for a crime he did not commit, Davis and his family are thankful for the people who helped him prove his innocence. Now, he is on a mission to make sure this does not happen to anyone else. He says, “There’s got to be a way, something that can be done to stop it.”

Identity Theft Wisconsin Woman Accused

A woman whose husband was convicted of starting a fire that killed three of their children and badly burned her is accused of identity theft while was she was recovering.

Sharon Wand, 28, was charged earlier this month with six felony counts of identity theft and one count of misdemeanor theft in Iowa County, according to the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/17XwviY).

Wand sustained third-degree burns over much of her body during Argyle fire in September 2012. Killed were 7-year-old Allen Wand, 5-year-old, Jeffery Wand and 3-year-old Joseph Wand. Her 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, survived. Her husband, Armin Wand III, and his brother, Jeremy Wand, were eventually convicted.

http://liarcatchers.com/identity_theft_investigation.html

Wand was pregnant at the time and lost the fetus.

According to the criminal complaint, while recovering at a Dodgeville nursing home the 28-year-old allegedly ordered flowers for herself for Mother’s Day from two different florists using names of at least five different people. The florists later learned that the addresses were incorrect.

Two of the orders included two bouquets and totaled $47.20 each, a third order for three bouquets totaled $82.52, and a fourth order for three bouquets totaled $88.31.

Police interviewed Wand with her guardian present at her room May 20, and Wand said she was shocked when she received all the flowers.

Wand said three of the people whose names were used to charge for the flowers were her cousins and she didn’t know the other two names.

In May, Wand was charged with three counts of misdemeanor theft after police said she stole jewelry, a ceramic figurine and other items at the same facility.

A status conference is set for Nov. 12 for all the charges.

A message left Sunday for Wand’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Identity Theft: Beware of Scams with Opening of Health Insurance Exchange

State officials and consumer groups are warning about an expected surge in identity-theft scams to begin with the Oct. 1 launch of the state’s online health-insurance exchange, the Washington Healthplanfinder.

“I think we will see a shift in the kinds of medical identity theft to now include people who get a call offering an opportunity to sign up for the Affordable Care Act,” said Lisa Erwin, senior counsel with the Office of the Attorney General.

According to Erwin, no cases have emerged yet. “But we will see the traditional scams operated in this new arena,” she said. “We’ll see false advertising. We’ll see people telling you that you need to sign up for something that you don’t need. We’ll see people impersonating being a navigator.” A navigator is a person who is trained and certified to help people use the exchange.

Mary Wood, manager of the eligibility section of the Washington Health Care Authority, which manages Medicaid in the state, shares Erwin’s concern.

“I have an elderly mother folks have preyed upon,” Wood said. “So I worry that with so much hype in the media and with all of us going out and talking about it that it would be easy for someone to just call someone else up and say, ‘I can help you with Healthplanfinder and you just have to share some basic information.’ I could see an individual being confused by that.”

While the exchange hasn’t attracted identity thieves yet, scammers have been operating nationally for a long time. James Quiggle, director of communications with the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, an advocacy organization, said consumers should expect them to move into this new territory of opportunity.

“They’ve signed up people for bogus insurance products and have stolen thousands of dollars from victims,” Quiggle said. “The concern is whether this same crooked marketing mentality will lead to malicious [operations] designed solely to steal people’s financial information and identities. People are very confused about what health-care reform means to their lives and how they are going to need to sign up for coverage.”

Christine Arevalo, director of health-care identity management at ID Experts, a consulting firm, warns that in addition to fraudulent websites and email phishing scams, criminals will likely also resort to old-fashioned techniques.

“There have been reports of people calling, the old traditional phone scam,” she says. “The bottom line really is these are crimes of opportunity, so any time there is something happening in the marketplace that affects consumers and creates an element of confusion, they’re going to take the opportunity to prey on people.”

With a consumer’s Social Security number in health-insurance policy information, she said, scammers can do anything from impersonating someone to get needed care to participating in organized crime rings setting up false fronts.

As a result, consumers whose identities are stolen may find their claims turned down when they go for care. And, of course, if scammers get a Social Security number or bank information, they may drain a person’s accounts or open new accounts in the person’s name.

Missing Person Billboards Put up Asking for Info About Madison County Teen

Two billboards have been put up asking for information in the disappearance of Madison County teen.

Brookelyn Farthing, whose 19th birthday was August 19, was last seen in a Berea home on June 22, a home that was damaged by fire the same night she went missing.

Officials have searched several square miles in the area where Farthing , but they have not found any clues.

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Farthing’s stepfather told the Huffington Post that Farthing sent texts to friends asking for a ride home the night she disappeared. Her ex-fiancee agreed to pick her up when he got off work, but before he could, another text was sent from her phone saying she was fine and going to another party.

Soon after, crews responded to a fire at the Berea home. The teenager was nowhere to be found, and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Her stepfather told the Huffington Post he doesn’t believe that last text was from Farthing, and that something happened to her before it was sent.

Farthing’s family is offering a $2,000 reward leading to her return.

Attackers Using Skype and Other IM Apps to Spread Trojan

Users receiving shortened URLs in Skype instant messages, or similar IM platforms, should be wary of a new trojan, called Liftoh.

So far, it has primarily infected users in Latin America, said Rodrigo Calvo, a researcher at Symantec.

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When targeted, victims receive a message in Spanish containing a shortened URL. The messages appear as if they are coming from someone on the user’s Skype contact list who is linking to a photo. If clicked, the link redirects users to 4shared.com, which is hosting a URL, which initiates a weaponized zip file containing Liftoh. The trojan is capable of downloading additional malware.

The malicious URLs have been clicked on more than 170,000 times, according to Symantec.

Private Detective Police Search for Escaped Prisoner in Jessamine County

Police in Jessamine County are searching for a prisoner who escaped custody from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department Monday afternoon.

Fayette County Sheriff officials they are searching for Christian Lynn Cox. Earlier, Monday, a deputy with the Office of the Fayette Sheriff was transporting Cox from the Jessamine County Detention Center to the Lexington Division of Community Corrections when he exited the vehicle and escaped the custody of the transporting deputy. This escape occurred in Jessamine County and the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff has received assistance from the Nicholasville Police Department and the Lexington Division of Police.

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Cox is wanted on an outstanding warrant for Probation Violation and additional charges are pending. The search is continuing and anyone with information should immediately call the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff at 859-252-1771.

Missing Person Search Continues for Washington Woman

Authorities today resumed their search for a 19-year-old woman who vanished into a Washington forest on a “spiritual quest” sporting only a fanny pack, three days after they had to suspend the rescue effort because they didn’t have enough people to look for her.

Maureen Kelly of Vancouver, Wash., has not been seen since she left Canyon Creek Campground at Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington on Sunday evening, according to Skamania County Undersheriff Dave CoxGifford Pinchot National Forest.

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Cox said there were “very limited resources during the week” to continue to search for Kelly. While organized search efforts were suspended on Wednesday, approximately 50 state-certified searchers have made themselves available for an all day search effort today, he said.

“It should be a good day to go find her,” Cox told ABCNews.com today. “Right now we’re hoping she wants to be found.”

Cox said friends of Kelly’s who were with her at the campsite expected her to return within a few hours. While she did not indicate when she would return, her friends called the sheriff’s office just after midnight Monday morning to report her missing.

“She had talked about doing this spiritual quest for evidently quite some time,” he said. “The folks that she was with, they felt that this was something she needed to do.”

Cox said it is believed Kelly only had a knife, a compass and matches with her in the fanny pack.

Weather in the forest has been on the cooler side since Kelly went missing, Cox said. The region has received a good amount of rain and temperatures have dropped as low as the mid-40s at night.

In addition to hypothermia, Cox said there are a number of hazardous conditions that could endanger Kelly’s life.

“There’s always a risk of injury in the territory she’s in — it’s very deep and rugged,” he said. “There’s a lot of debris on the forest floor, so she could slip on moss, or break a leg. There are a lot of different scenarios you could run into.”

The sheriff’s office does not have photos of Kelly for identification purposes, but authorities are aware of Kelly’s physical characteristics.

“There aren’t too many folks we know of that are missing here without clothes on,” Cox said.

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