Possible Santa Muerte Presence in West Texas

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- An unusual religious following that started in Mexico seems to be making its way to the Basin. It honors Santa Muerte or the Saint of Death. What got our attention is just how popular it has become in the drug community.

Odessa Crime Stoppers say they are educating officers right now on the Santa Muerte and on certain type of candles that are meant to protect those who dabble in the drug trade.

Two candles Crime Stoppers showed NewsWest 9 are meant keep law enforcement away and the other is a court candle, believed to influence the judgement of the courts.

Susan Rogers with Odessa Crime Stoppers say these types of candles are used by criminals who believe in it.

Rogers says her team have gotten training on this and on Santa Muerte. The bad guys pray to her because they believe she'll protect them from getting caught by law enforcement so they can deliver their drug loads.

Rogers said these types of religious items are starting to have a presence in West Texas.

"We've seen a lot of things that are happening along the border have started happening here and I don't doubt people have those candles here," Rogers said. "The shop that we actually went into to get some of them in Dallas, they told me they do ship to this area, so I'm sure its here."

The Saint is meant to protect and to bring to prosperity to anyone who prays to her.

Police often use the symbol as a clue to spot illegal trade.