HOUSTON A 70-year-old woman is facing federal charges after investigators say she conspired to unlawfully sell promethazine in Houston.
Promethazine, which is commonly used with codeine as a cough suppressant, is sometimes mixed with soda and candy and sold on the street as Purple Drank or Sizzurp. The potentially lethal substance is popular on the hip-hop scene especially in Houston, where it made a resurgence among local rap stars in the 90s.
According to court documents, Lucita Uy bought three pharmacies in California so she could legally obtain promethazine from distributers.
But investigators said Uy, along with her son, Lemuel Libuano, would ship the promethazine to Houston, where co-conspirators Christopher Crawford and Kendra Manigualt would sell it on the street.
Investigators said a pint of promethazine has a street value of $300 to $600 in Houston more than twice what it s worth in Los Angeles.
Court documents state that, starting on an unknown date and ending in July of 2008, Uy spent more than $1.1 million on 97,000 pints of promethazine, which was sold in Houston.
Uy and her co-conspirators allegedly made at least $10 million from their scheme, and opened several bank accounts in a bid to launder the money.
Investigators said they used the money for their business, and to buy fancy vehicles, jewelry and residential and commercial real estate.
All four co-conspirators have been arrested.