There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea to relax, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Javier Trevino used to think.
Particularly herbal tea — no caffeine to get his hands shaking while he was working as an air traffic controller in Mayport Naval Station or to keep him awake at night.
So he was pretty amiable when a friend he was visiting last May in San Antonio offered him some herbal tea from Mexico. It was pretty good, Trevino remembers, kind of grassy tasting — good enough to bring back home, share with his 11-year-old son and best friend’s pregnant wife.
Not good enough, though, to put his entire career in jeopardy, possibly getting him drummed out of the Navy or tossed in jail.
That herbal tea was mate de coca, a beverage made from the plant leaves that are used to make cocaine.