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This article originally appeared in the Friday Nov. 8, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.
Officers arrested a Mission attorney last week after they caught her with nitrous oxide cartridges and a “half burnt cigar filled with marihuana,” according to court records.
The Mission Police Department arrested Krystal Starowitz, 27, of Mission — a municipal judge for the city of Progreso — on Nov. 1.
“First and foremost, I want to issue an apology to my family and loved ones for the shame and embarrassment this has caused them,” Starowitz said in a statement. “There is no excuse for my actions committed on November 1, 2019. I take full responsibility for my actions and all of the consequences that this unfortunate event has caused.
“I want to thank Mission P.D. for protecting the Mission area. I can only grow from this mistake and reassure all that it will never happen again. I am a 27-year-old girl who is only human,” Starowitz said in the statement. “I am bound to make mistakes but do realize and acknowledge that I have to be more responsible because of my title and current position. I hope to recover and grow from this incident and continue serving my community in any way that I can.
This is my home, these people are my family and I promise to do everything in my power to make everyone proud and reassured in my abilities again.
“Once again, I take full responsibility for my actions and issue a sincere apology to all,” Starowitz said in the statement. “Through God’s grace I hope to move on from this incident.”
Officers arrested Starowitz on Nov. 1, when the Mission Police Department responded to a call about a woman “seen inhaling something” near a gas station on the 3300 block of North Shary Road, according to Mission Municipal Court records.
A gray Cadillac CTS apparently caught the caller’s attention. An officer approached the Cadillac and found Starowitz behind the wheel.
When he asked Starowitz why she parked near the gas station, “she responded in slurred speech that she was there with her dog,” according to court records.
Starowitz had several nitrous oxide cartridges, which are commonly called “whippets,” on her lap.
“Ms. Starowitz stated that she did use them only because she was stressed about a trip she had to Houston,” according to court records.
When the officer searched her car, he found a gray nitrous oxide dispenser and more cartridges.
“A half burnt cigar filled with marihuana was also located on the center console area,” according to court records.
Starowitz is charged with possession and use of a volatile chemical, a Class B misdemeanor. The officer also cited her for possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
Municipal Judge Ramon Rosales Jr. set a $1,000 personal recognizance bond during a brief hearing Friday afternoon.
“They tell me you practice law,” Rosales said.
Starowitz said she did.
“I used to work with Vicente Gonzalez and Javier Villalobos,” Starowitz said. “I do a lot of the insurance hail stuff.”
Rosales appeared taken aback by the charge against Starowitz, a promising young attorney.
“It’s a little disconcerting, what they’re saying,” Rosales said, adding that the circumstances didn’t make sense to him.
If convicted on the Class B misdemeanor charge, Starowitz faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.