SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A Shreveport woman’s scare with the delivery of an unsolicited package to her home that turned out to be full of a psychoactive drug has prompted a reminder from authorities to be cautious this holiday season.
“The first thing I should have noticed is that there was no name on the package. That should have been my first clue,” said Leslie Dews said.
Dews said she and her family are constantly ordering things online and she was expecting a package, so it did not occur to her to look for anything suspicious.
“I was talking to a neighbor and then saw that the mail came. I went inside and opened the package like I would. We get packages here all the time, and when I opened it, white powder got on my hands and it took me a second to realize what happened.”
Dews said she immediately woke her husband, who works for the Shreveport Police Department.
“He was sleeping, so I went in there to wake him up and he thought I was joking. I was going to try to gauge his reaction to it to see how concerned I should be. He got up and put on his personal protection equipment and started to take it outside. That’s when I got nervous.”
Tests on the powder found that it was meth and protein, otherwise known as MDMA or ‘ecstasy,’ a psychoactive drug.
Assistant Fire chief Fred Sanders said this is not the first time an incident like this has happened.
“In the past ten days, we’ve responded to about four incidents of suspicious packages in southeast Shreveport. We responded to an incident where it was white powder in a mailbox. The content ended up being corn starch.”
Chief Sanders said it’s best to call law enforcement right away if an unexpected or suspicious package is delivered to your home.
“If you receive a package, our advice to citizens is not to open that package, not to touch that package. especially if you received a package you did not request and you don’t know what the contents are,” Sanders said.
He said he and his team have the knowledge and experience to contain potentially hazardous materials.
Dews was taken to LSU Ochsner Shreveport for decontamination. After doctors ran tests to ensure the drug was not in her system, she was able to go home.
“I was somewhat relieved because it wasn’t anything worse. but then I was like, ‘I have drugs being sent to my house, which is pretty strange to me but I was just relieved it wasn’t anything more dangerous,” Dews said.
She said the way she opens the mail will never be the same.
“Well first of all, my husband will be the one opening up our packages from now on.”
Chief Sanders said this could happen to anyone and suggests that those sending packages for the holidays should let the recipients know a package is on the way before it arrives.