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Man steals empty pharmacy bottles, mixes with water to drink residue

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Pitt County deputies bust a Washington man with drugs in Greenville.

Unfortunately, that's not unusual. But how the man went about using those drugs is.

Deputies say the spotted 27-year-old Jeffrey Bell in a parking lot near Memorial Drive and Airport Road. He was carrying a trash bag full of empty prescription drug bottles.

"He originally said he used them for target practice," said Detective Paula Dance, with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.

But it soon became obvious Bell was using those bottles, once filled with liquid Hydrocodone and Oxycodone for a different reason. Narcotics officers say he filled them with water and drank the residue. They say he got the bottles from pharmacy dumpsters.

"This person basically admitted something that was kind of new to us. When you're adding the water to those two products you're basically getting say a liquid Percocet, something equivalent to a liquid Percocet. So people are coming up with very inventive ways to get that high," said Dance.

Users are not only coming up with creative ways to get high, but to sell. A few months ago, Beaufort County Narcotics Captain Russell Davenport showed 9 on your side some of the ways people are hiding drugs.

"You may think somebody's drinking some water, when actually it's not a bottle of water. It's a hidden container. This piece of candy looks like "smarties" but you can take two or three candies out and replace them with pills and put it in the middle and it looks exactly the same," said Davenport.

It's even more reason to keep those prescription bottles locked.

A lot of law enforcement agencies, including the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, have 24-hour drop boxes in their offices so you can safely throw away your prescription medications.

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