A Tangipahoa undercover narcotics agent and Amite native, who asked not to reveal his name, said the fight against bath salt sales and business owners is a constant, never-ending one.
“Here’s the deal” said the agent in a telephone interview with Tangilena.com:
“The components in bath salts are constantly changing.”
When bath salts were banned almost two years ago, all manufacturers had to do was change the ingredients in the product to stay outside of the law’s restrictions, he said.
The agent said there are over 200 components that make up the bath salts drug, most of which have been banned but are constantly being reformulated. This makes it tough for any law enforcement agency to remove every bath salt product available. The ingredients change their accuracy every time an ingredient is banned.
The bath salt product can be made in a local “mom and pop” clandestine lab, he said, or manufactured in China, which is where the majority of the dangerous substance is supplied from.
With so much violence and outrage over the bath salts substance, what is the appeal to those who abuse it?
The undercover agent said: “It’s a different result every time.”
Amite Police Chief Jerry Trabona and Detective Allen Ordeneaux agree.
So extreme is the strength of bath salts and other synthetic drugs, Ordeneaux said “When they take this stuff, they are running from the devil.”
The devil indeed, as hallucinations of evil spirits and Satan himself appear in the minds of most bath salts users.
“It could be the first time they use it, or the tenth time” said Trabona. “But it’s gonna happen.”
It was during an interview for this story that Ordeneaux received a call from local police that a woman was giving all the warning signs of a bath salts reaction.
“I’ll be right there,” said Ordeneaux. “But whatever you do, keep her away from the road.”
A sad fact among fatalities of bath salts users, said Trabona and Ordeneaux, are those under the influence who truly believe they’re being chased by evil spirits.
Eventually, those hallucinations land them up in the hospital, or dead. Bath salts abusers run across roadways into traffic, or while driving a car, attempting to flee their extreme paranoia of “the devil” or “evil.”
Is what Jeffrey Reynolds saw as he cut an infant from the womb of the child’s mother? No one knows.
Reynolds was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and is charged with feticide and attempted second-degree murder.
Reynolds acts of violence made local headlines immediately across Louisiana, and the next day around the globe.
The baby’s violent and untimely death, carved from its mother’s womb on Tuesday, has sent shockwaves across the Northshore, and worldwide.
According to reports from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, deputies who arrived on the scene were horrified at the site before them.
Jeffery Reynolds, 31, of Milton Road had used a “sharp instrument” to cut into his wife’s stomach at 7 months pregnant, then forcibly removed the fetus while deputies and neighbors reported him “howling like an animal” and upon their arrival.
An autopsy for the child is scheduled for Oct. 24, at the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.
Reynolds’ wife, 28-year-old Paula Reynolds, suffered severe stabbed wounds and remains in stable condition in the hospital.
The Reynolds also share a son, who attends first grade. The child was in school at the time of the attack on his mother and younger sibling.
It was Jan 6, 2011, that Governor Bobby Jindal, in the company of Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess and several local dignitaries and law enforcement personnel, announced the banning of such “bath salts” from Louisiana store shelves. The original chemicals found in fake “bath salts” were also added to the Controlled Substances Act.
By the next day, Tangipahoa sheriff’s deputies and narcotics agents removed nearly $50,000 worth of bath salts products from approximately 70 businesses across Tangipahoa.