Most Shared

Fighting Back

Fighting Back

text size

Southeast Austin Fighting Back Against Smoke Shops

Updated: Monday, June 10 2013, 09:27 PM CDT

In the last six months four smoke shops have opened within a mile of each other in Southeast Austin.

Police say just having them around can attract criminal activity and they're working with neighbors to fight back.

"You have to be at least 18 to enter there. That tells you right there that it is not a family business," resident Susana Almanza said.

Resident Rosella Mazza said, "There are too many kids around here and I see the kids going in. I don't like that the shops are so close."

Last week the Austin Police Department's street crimes unit conducted several undercover operations at Jamaican Smoke Shop and Tomgro Market on Montopolis Drive. According to police, the shops were selling the synthetic marijuana called Kush known to have side effects such as anxiety, elevated heart rates, vomiting and disorientation.

"It was banned by the health and safety code. We seized two and a half pounds at one location and a pound and a half at the other location," said Commander Fred Fletcher.

Fletcher says they did not make any arrests or issue citations because the synthetic products are labeled "not for human consumption" to avoid FDA regulations. However they will test the so called drug then see if further charges could be filed.

"One of the struggles we have is the composition changes frequently and the law is always trying to keep up with the chemical composition," said Fletcher.

Police say they will stop the growing trend one shop at a time. Meanwhile neighbors plan to go to city council to change the zoning so these shops can't be within certain feet of schools, homes and churches.

By Christie PostSoutheast Austin Fighting Back Against Smoke Shops

Share It Loading...
Full Gallery

Crime Prevention / Important Links

National Crime Prevention Council
Texas Crime Prevention Assn
University of Texas
Texas Sex Offender Database

Area Law Enforcement Agencies

Bastrop County
Bastrop County Sheriff

Hays County
San Marcos
Hays Co. Sheriff’s Office

Travis County
File an incident report
APD Incident Reports Database
APD Programs
Neighborhood liaison

Crime Prevention
Crime Investigations

Lago Vista
Lago Vista
Travis Co. Sheriff’s Office
File an incident report

Williamson County
Round Rock
Crime reports
Crime Prevention
Victim Services

File an incident report
Frequently Asked Questions

Cedar Park

Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office


Send Us Your Comments!

Send us your Fighting Back stories, comments, questions, etc. by using the form provided below.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.
Advertise with us!