EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 3 people overdose from synthetic drug in front of NE DC store

For weeks, we have been telling you about people overdosing on synthetic marijuana in the District.

On Monday, the mayor responded with emergency legislation to shut down places that sell the illegal product.

FOX 5 returned to a business that we busted two months ago for selling this synthetic drug and found not much has changed.

We were initially going to do a story on Friday about the Minnesota Market in Northeast D.C. because the store had an armed robbery on Wednesday. The robber demanded the clerk turn over the synthetic marijuana called Bizarro. But the suspect wouldn't accept cash. Instead, he just wanted the drugs.

As we were on our way to the store on Friday, we heard that people were overdosing on the drug outside of that business.

In front of the store, three people overdosed on synthetic marijuana. The video was captured by Marny Britt.

She told us, "As I was coming across the street videoing it, a car stopped behind me and a gentleman said, ‘You know they're on Scooby [Snax]. This store sells it.' And I said, ‘Yeah, I do know.'"

Police said the three people seen passed out on Britt's video were all taken to a hospital to be treated.

Britt's godson admits to using the drug for the last two years.

"I've been in and out of the hospital too much within the last year from this," said Warren Branham. "Complications of my breathing, my weight loss, not eating right."

He is on parole for robbery and these synthetic drugs known as Scooby Snax, K2 and Bizarro don't show up in drug tests.

"It's not letting you eat properly," he said. "You don't get proper sleep. You're really a zombie. It's worse than coke, it's worse than PCP. It needs to be off the market."

Branham said as of today, he is going to stop using this drug.

"I've been home for two years actually and I've been smoking it for two years," he said. "I just let my parole officer know and he was like it's not a good look."

According to a police report, the Minnesota Market store admitted to police that it was robbed of the synthetic drug Bizarro last Wednesday. A man came in with a silver handgun and demanded Bizarro from the clerk behind the counter. The cashier told the suspect to take the money. But the suspect told the cashier no and he wanted the synthetic drug instead.

At gunpoint, the clerk went to the back of the store where the Bizarro was kept and got it from under a plastic crate in the storage room.

Police quickly found the suspect, 51-year-old James Dixon, and arrested him for robbery with a gun.

On Friday, after police and ambulances left after treating the overdose victims, we went inside the Minnesota Market, but the clerk claimed he did not know anything about calling police for the robbery or selling any synthetic drugs.

"We didn't have nothing," he said. "We didn't sell them. Only cigarettes."

On Friday afternoon, I showed the video to Mayor Muriel Bowser's office and they sent us this response:

"Far too many of our residents are still impacted by drug usage. Earlier this week, I announced a new approach to drug enforcement in the District. We intend to crack down on the suppliers who feed dangerous narcotics into our communities. There's going to be a significant penalty for their actions. We will also ensure that healthcare professionals have the resources necessary to help people get the treatment they need to fight and recover from drug usage."

Related stories:

More people treated for apparent synthetic drug overdoses near DC shelter

DC mayor wants to shut down stores selling synthetic drugs

DC cracking down on synthetic marijuana after recent spike in overdoses

Spike in synthetic marijuana overdoses in DC

5 things to know about synthetic drugs being sold to teens

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories