State lawmaker seeks tougher penalties for deadly drug

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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s known as NBOME – a deadly drug that’s now been blamed for the deaths of two teens in our area.

And on Tuesday one of the teen’s mothers went to court seeking justice – as one state lawmaker looks for harsher sentences to deal with the deadly drug.

Jeanine Motsay’s son Sam died after overdosing on the new synthetic drug. The suspect accused of manufacturing those drugs that led to Sam’s death, Zachary Catron, was in court Tuesday on nine weapons and drug charges.

“I think there has to be a stiffer penalty,” said Motsay.

State senator Jim Merritt agrees that the penalties need to be more severe. Next year, Merritt says he’ll try again to pass new laws with harsher penalties for these new designer drugs.

“I want to see tougher penalties for the manufacturing, for the distribution or the possession of all these designer drugs,” said Merritt. “We have got to reach out to all of our kids and talk about the dangers because there’s no overdose here, you die. This is poison. There’s no high, you die.”

And not only are they dangerous, but the drugs also seem to be marketed specifically toward children.

“They make it looks so pleasing and plausible,” said Merritt. “The packaging, obviously, is shameful. The whole situation’s shameful but the way they make it look like Crackle candy and something kids would gravitate to… it is shameful.”

Sam’s mom spoke with FOX59 Monday night in a one-on-one interview.

She said her son carried a 4.0 GPA and was looking forward to a summer of basketball camp, weightlifting and a job. Sam played basketball in Carmel on the last Friday and Saturday nights of his life. The mother and son returned home just before midnight. Within 12 hours, Sam was found dead.

“Sam’s experience can help others,” said Motsay. “I’m learning things I didn’t think I would learn as a parent. This is a whole new world.”

“I’m glad that she’s going to become part of the crusade, because it’s going to take a crusade,” said Merritt. “This has no place in our society.”

Sen. Merritt wants to make the penalties for these synthetic or look-alike drugs the same as the penalties for the drug they’re modeled after, like LSD. The bill passed the state senate last year, but did not get out of the house. Merritt says he’ll be trying again during next year’s session.

Zachary Catron, Kyle Hazzard and Jordan Adamowitz were jailed following Motsay’s death. Hazzard and Adamowitz led police to Catron, who admitted making the batch of NBOME that took Motsay’s life.

Catron had a hearing in Marion Superior Court Tuesday morning to reconsider his $200,000 bond on nine weapons and drug charges.

Investigators say they found several drugs and weapons at Catron’s house, where he was still wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet from a previous arrest. He’s currently being held in Marion County on nine felony charges.

At his bond hearing Tuesday morning, Catron’s attorney requested a second hearing and review of council. A judge granted that and set another court date for Friday, May 30th at 8:45 a.m.

He also has a hearing in Johnson County Wednesday on a previous drug arrest.

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