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Police investigate rise of PCP use in Oklahoma City area

Police expect to see PCP, or phenyclidine, appear more often as temperatures heat up. The powerful anesthetic is known to cause violent behavior and nightmarish hallucinations in users.
by Matt Dinger Modified: April 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: April 21, 2014

A powerful anesthetic that often causes dark and violent hallucinations is not terribly common, but police expect to see more of it during the warmer months.

PCP, or phencyclidine, initially was sold as an anesthetic, but no longer has accepted medical value, said Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control spokesman Mark Woodward.

“It’s never gone away. It just doesn’t get the type of attention of other drugs,” Woodward said.

“This year, so far, I can only remember two or three cases,” Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

“It seems to be one of those drugs that we see more prevalently in the summer months,” he said.

PCP is most commonly consumed today by dipping marijuana or tobacco cigarettes in the liquid form of the drug and then smoking them, Woodward said.

“In a powder form, it was really popular in the ’70s as ‘angel dust,’” he said. The liquid form is commonly called “wet” or “whack.”

Oklahoma City police are currently investigating how a large amount of PCP made it into the city.

Police study influx

On Valentine’s Day, gang enforcement officers recovered an unspecified quantity of the drug during a traffic stop in northwest Oklahoma City.

Police think the PCP came from out of state, but declined to release further details until the investigation into the incident is complete.

A Del City police detective recently filed a search warrant for the blood of Lochinvar Caldwell. The 56-year-old man reportedly shot his 15-year-old grandson once in the head on March 21 because he was “possessed by the devil,” court records show.

Various amounts of marijuana were found in Caldwell’s home, and he was “naked, profusely sweating, combative” when police found him, according to the search warrant.

Caldwell exhibited “schizophrenic-like symptomatology such as flattened affect, dissociative thoughts, depersonalization and catatonic states at time of arrest. These are signs I associate with someone possibly under the influence of phencyclidine,” the warrant states.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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