Black Market Botox Seized in Cincinnati by Feds, and Four Other Cincinnati News Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Drugs, Botox, The National: It's not a sad party, it's the news roundup.

May 19, 2023 at 8:00 am
click to enlarge As the desire for fuller lips and younger-looking skin swells in the US, so does the black market for injectable products. - Photo:  Jonathan Borba, Pexels
As the desire for fuller lips and younger-looking skin swells in the US, so does the black market for injectable products.
Whether its drugs or Botox, this week's news reminds us to be careful about what you put in your body.

Federal authorities in Cincinnati seized a bonkers amount of black market Botox and other cosmetic injectables earlier this month, and they're urging people to err on the side of caution when looking for ways to plump and smooth their face.

Speaking of substance safety, an organization out of Columbus has started mailing out free xylazine test strips to combat a recent rash of drugs laced with the deadly "zombie" drug.

And if you're interested in unions, you'll want to keep scrolling to read the latest news out of Miami University.

Thousands of Black Market Botox Injections Seized by Federal Agents in Cincinnati
As the desire for fuller lips and younger-looking skin swells in the US, so does the black market for injectable products. According to a news release from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), two Cincinnati CBP officers seized thousands of unapproved cosmetic injectables such as Botox, Juvéderm, and other fillers during the last week of April and first week of May. The department said the shipments originated in Bulgaria, Spain, China, Hong Kong and Korea to be distributed throughout the United States. A single shipment of Botox from Hong Kong held 10 vials, or about 1,500 injections. The value of all the seized injectable shipments would have had a combined value of $175,399, according to the release.  Read CityBeat’s story for a complete list of the seized injectables.

How to Test Your Cocaine and Other Drugs for Xylazine
An Ohio organization that combats overdoses is now offering ways to find out if your drugs are cut with xylazine, a deadly "zombie" drug that can eat away at a user's flesh. Unlike fentanyl, a xylazine overdose cannot be reversed through naloxone (name brand Narcan), making testing your drugs paramount to survival. At least 18% of the state's cocaine supply was laced with an unknown level of fentanyl in 2022, the highest adulteration level among all illicit drugs, and the federal government recently declared xylazine laced into drugs as an emerging threat. SOAR, an organization out of Columbus that tracks and alerts users about deadly batches of drugs, has started distributing free xylazine test strips with every order of fentanyl test strips to combat the growing threat. Read CityBeat’s story about xylazine and learn how to order test strips for free.

It's Official: The National's Homecoming Festival is Returning to Cincinnati This September
The National gods have finally smiled upon Cincinnati. The National’s Homecoming Festival is officially returning to Cincinnati Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16. It’ll be the first time since its inaugural 2018 edition that the festival will come to Cincinnati. This year’s festival will be held at the ICON Festival Stage in Smale Park, and The National will headline both days of the festival and perform a unique set each night as a thank-you to their fans, says a press release. Other acts will include Patti Smith & Her Band, Pavement, Weyes Blood and The Walkmen. “When we launched Homecoming in 2018, we were overwhelmed by the response from the community and by our renewed sense of connection to our hometown,” The National said in the release. Single-day, weekend and VIP passes will be on sale starting Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m. Read CityBeat’s story for a full breakdown of the festival’s lineup.

Miami University Faculty Vote "Yes" to Unionizing, But State Bill Could Prohibit Faculty Strikes
Tenured and tenure-track faculty at Miami University have voted to form a union, with 65% of eligible faculty voting in favor of the union. In a statement posted to their website, Miami’s administration said they may be at the bargaining table with FAM for a while, saying “in many cases, negotiation of an initial contract can take up to or beyond one year.” But time is of the essence as the state legislature works to pass Senate Bill 83, which would prevent university staff in Ohio from striking, among other changes to Ohio colleges, like banning mandatory diversity training, requiring certain American history courses, and mandating tenure evaluations based on if the educator showed "bias or taught with bias." Read CityBeat’s story about the union victory and the next steps for SB 83.

Cincinnati’s Police Association The Sentinels Assist Minority Officers — and Seek to Hold the Department Accountable
The Cincinnati Police Department has made headlines twice in May for radically different reasons: News of yet another internal investigation into an officer who made racist remarks on the job broke on May 1, a problem CPD was hoping to leave behind in 2022. And then the department announced it plans to dissolve its fifth district into the city’s remaining four newly redrawn districts. While CPD’s Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP) union was quickly front and center with reactions to both announcements, a lesser-known group of CPD officers, known as the Sentinel Police Association, has its own perspective — and sometimes a different take — on the winds of change blowing through the department. Danita Pettis is the second-ever Black female captain of any CPD district and also started to lead the Sentinels in January 2022. CityBeat sat down with Pettis for a discussion about the organization’s relationship with the police union and the need for more Black officers in investigative positions. Read CityBeat’s latest cover story before it hits stands.

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