Large quantity of date-rape drug GHB seized
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Sgt. Harold McClure displays what he has reason to believe may be the largest quantity of the date-rape drug GHB ever found in Sulphur Springs Thursday morning.

Sept. 14, 2006 -- Two Commerce residents are being held in Hopkins County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $600,000 each in one of the largest seizures of date-rape drugs in the city's history.

"I have been with the [police] department 22 years, and to my knowledge, this is the largest GHB seizure inside the city limits," said Sgt. Harold McClure of the Special Crimes Unit.

The arrests came after Special Crimes Unit officers, assisted by Drug Enforcement Agency officers and Hopkins County Sheriff's deputies set up a buy on a parking lot in the 1700 block of South Broadway late Wednesday. They arrested two men and a woman and confiscated a large quantity of GHB, or Gamma Hydroxy-Butyric acid, 100 ecstasy tablets and $4,000 cash Wednesday evening as the result of an ongoing investigation.

The seized GHB had a street value of more than $5,000, and the more than 100 ecstasy, or "X," tablets, according to McClure, would sell on the street for as much as $20 each.

The investigator said the majority of drug arrests involve people that are transporting controlled substances through the county, but the drugs seized Wednesday were brought to Sulphur Springs.

"If this had not been a controlled buy-bust operation, this was destined for the community of Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs," Sgt. McClure said. "This could very well have been distributed among the citizens of the county that deal in ecstasy, GHB and the like."

While ecstasy is fairly common, McClure said, the GHB was a first for him in Sulphur Springs.

"I know what it is through my training, but this is the first GHB I have ever personally been involved with," he said.

Sgt. McClure said the arrests were only a part of a continuing effort by drug interdiction agencies.

"It, by no means, is over yet," he said. "This will continue as a joint investigation by SCU, Hopkins County investigators and DEA."

Dana Ryan Beddow, 23, and Ashley Lauren Roof, 20, both of Commerce, were arraigned before Justice of the Peace Yvonne King Thursday morning. Bond was set at $400,000 each for possession of GHB and $200,000 each for possession of ecstasy.

Both are facing a maximum of 99 years in prison if convicted of the first-degree felony drug charges.

A third person arrested in the bust was released pending further investigation. McClure said more arrests are anticipated.

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