319 lbs of promethazine seized in weekend traffic stop

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas – NCSO deputies seized 19 cases of prescription medication in a vehicle stop over the weekend in the latest instance of an ongoing drug trafficking trend. Around 1 a.m. on April 13, deputies pulled over a white 2023 Hyundai for a traffic violation while traveling in the 4000 block of South Street and identified Rodarius Criss, 24, of Memphis, Tenn. as the driver. Deputies asked for permission to search the vehicle, which Criss denied. They then called for a K9
officer. The K9 alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, at which point a probable-cause search was conducted. Nineteen cases, each containing 12 bottles, of prescription promethazine was located in the vehicle’s trunk. The total weight of the medication was approximately 319 lbs. Criss was taken into custody on a Class A-misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug. This incident is the fourth so far this year in which a large quantity of promethazine medication was discovered being trafficked through Nacogdoches County. As of Wednesday, more than 1,270 lbs of promethazine has been interdicted by Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office deputies this year. In 2023, an additional 400 lbs of medication was confiscated. In total, more than 1,600 lbs of the medication has been seized since January 2023 by the sheriff’s office. Six individuals have been arrested in these cases, none of whom are Texas residents; four suspects in four separate cases were from Memphis, Tenn. In a January 2023 case, one suspect was from Chicago and the other was from Indianapolis. One firearm, as well as marijuana and THC products have also
been seized. Promethazine is prescription-strength antihistamine classified as a Schedule V drug under the Controlled Substances Act. It is prescribed to treat allergies, for sedation, nausea and other conditions. It can be combined with the prescription opioid codeine to treat some illnesses. This medication is misused by being consumed recreationally for its sedative effects. It is also mixed with alcohol, which amplifies its side effects. Promethazine has a history of being used to enhance the euphoric effects of opioids and reduce the nausea that comes with withdrawal. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, promethazine was glamorized in pop-culture for its intoxicating effects. In February 2024, the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, issued a warning “about the increasing use of the medication promethazine in Michigan and the United States.”
These cases remain under investigation by the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office