Middletown man high on bath salts threatens to burn down local house


MIDDLETOWN — A city man was charged with second-degree unlawful restraint after allegedly snorting bath salts and saying he would burn down a house, police report.

Daniel Ventre, 28, 64 Pearl St., was also charged with third-degree assault. He was issued a summons for the charges and police reported completing an emergency committal form to have Ventre admitted to the hospital. He is due in court July 30.

Officers were sent to the victim’s home on July 29 around 6:10 p.m. for a report of a disturbance. The victim told police she fled to her mother’s home because of an argument with an ex-boyfriend, police said. She said Ventre had come over and she let him stay the night, but on Saturday morning they had a fight.

Ventre allededly threw her cell phone against a wall, breaking it, the victim told police. She also told police Ventre had been “smoking and snorting ‘bath salts’” and she was scared of him because he was “out of control.”

 

Ventre allegedly started pulling the victim’s hair and choking her, accusing her of stealing his bath salts, police said. The victim tried to leave, but Ventre said he would call the state Department of Children and Families and have her kids taken away if she did. He also threatened to burn the house down, police said.

Police reported seeing bruises on the victim’s arms and side and scratches on her neck. She was able to get to her mother’s house a short time later to call the police.

Ventre told police he and the victim had both been “smoking and snorting the ‘bath salts’ all weekend” before they got into a fight. Ventre said he was just defending himself, according to police.

Ventre had a difficult time focusing on the conversation, would randomly start talking about different subjects and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, police said. He was confused and changed his story several times, according to police.

While being transported to the police station, Ventre allegedly complained of stomach pain and said he would kill himself and harm others in the process, so police took him to the hospital to be evaluated. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

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Gang of drug peddlers in police net


The Dubai Police have arrested a four-member gang, which allegedly promoted restricted and banned drugs, tramadol and spice.

 

Major-General Abdul Jalil Mahdi, Director of the General department of Anti-Narcotics of the Dubai Police, said that the officials from the department managed to arrest the gang composed of two Asians and 2 AGCC nationals.

He said the gang intensified its activities in Ramadan, as they thought the police will not notice it during the holy month.

The police officer who headed the anti-drug team raided the car of one of the Asian suspects, which was parked near a supermarket in Hamdan area after receiving a tip-off that the suspects were in possession of a huge quantity of drugs.

Both the suspects, A.A. and A.M. were arrested and a large quantity of tramadol pills and money were recovered from the car. It was also confirmed through blood check that the first suspect consumed hashish and tramadol.

He confessed to the police that the drug was given to him by an AGCC national, identified as S.M.A., who asked him to promote it on commission basis.

The police set a trap and arrested S.M.A. along with the fourth suspect, 34-year-old H.M.H., who has been waiting in the car.

The police found that he had a criminal record and he masterminded the gang’s operations.

During a raid at the flat of S.M.A. in Al Warqa, large quantities of spice drug (a non-medical drug similar to hashish) and tramadol were recovered.

All the suspects were referred to the Dubai Public Prosecution, charged with possession of drug and the first suspect was additionally charged with consumption of drug. Abdul Jalil Mahdi praised the efforts of anti-narcotic team and urged the public to inform police if they have information on drug-related 
issues.

The UAE has banned the use of spice drugs and it had been included in the banned drug list under as per a Cabinet decree issued in last May.

The UAE has become the first country in the region to detect the harmful effect of the drug and to include it in the banned list.

Spice bust nets three drug charges for Burley business owner


One Stop Shop

The Voice photo by C. Colt Crane

It was here at the One Stop Shop on East Main that local law enforcement found “Pep Spice” and paraphernalia that netted Mahest “Mike” Shaw three drug charges.

            BURLEY – A May drug bust has netted a Burley man three drug related charges and appears to have thwarted the local “spice” sales, according to authorities.

A warrant was issued May 3, 2012, to the One Stop Shop at the Lamplighter Motel located at 304 E Main Street and was a result of a year-long investigation by the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force and Cassia County Sheriff’s office into allegations of the possession and distribution of controlled substances known as “Pep Spice”.

The drug is an organic material laced with a Schedule I non-narcotic synthetic drug similar to THC, the chemical found in marijuana. Pep Spice is a laboratory manufactured substance that was being sold as incense in an effort to fly under the radar of food and drug laws.

The Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force were tipped off to the drug’s distribution by reports of people falling ill and being hospitalized as a result of smoking the synthetic drug. Officials say that Pep Spice can be as dangerous and as addictive as meth and heroin. Reports of users being rushed to the emergency room is part of what initially tipped off local law enforcement agencies.

Thousands of dollars’ worth of drug paraphernalia and Pep Spice were seized by Cassia Deputies and the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force.

Cassia County Prosecutor Alfred E. Barrus said that the owner of the One Stop Shop, Mahesh “Mike” Shaw has been charged with three counts of drug related crimes.

“Mr. Shaw has been charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver,” said Barrus.

The drug bust has been a boon to local law enforcement according to Detective Dan Renz, Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force Supervisor.

“We’ve had no reports on anything else going on,” said Renz.

“There is no further indication of related activity.”

Retailers skirting laws again with spice, bath salts sales


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It’s happening again. Dangerous chemical compounds, commonly known as spice and bath salts, are back on local store shelves, despite being banned not once, but twice by state law.

And once again, police and prosecutors say there’s nothing they can do to stop some of them from being legally sold.

Last November, I-Team 8 first uncovered how the makers of the synthetic chemicals were tweaking the chemical compounds in the drugs to keep them legal . Now, frustrated lawmakers, prosecutors and police find themselves back at square one.

It all began last week in Lawrence.

THE TIP OF A NEW ICEBERG

Just before 11 a.m. July 9, a Lawrence Police Department officer pulled over a car as it was heading down Post Road. Inside, officers said, they found a teen driver who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

They asked him what he was on, and where he had purchased it.

“He had stated that he had purchased ‘spice’ from one of our stores here in Lawrence in the 4700 block of Post Road,” said Lawrence Police Capt. Curtis Bigsby.

A few hours later, Lawrence police made their move, raiding the Smoke Shop store and confiscating 402 packets with product labels like “Sunshine Daydream,” “Sunshine Nightmare,” and “Cloud 10” (a nod to previous – now outlawed – versions of spice that were sometimes labeled “Cloud 9”).

Most of the packets were also labeled “herbal incense” and said “not for human consumption.”

And even as officers loaded up their boxes, police said, new customers were heading inside.

“There was people in line, waiting to buy more,” Bigsby said.

It had all the makings of a good bust.

But five days later the bust went bust.

Marion County Crime Lab tests showed the chemicals inside the packets were not on the state’s “banned” list. Now, Lawrence Police said, they have no choice but to give them back to the store.

“It’s very frustrating,” Bigsby said. “But hopefully we can get some more laws put into place to where we can combat this issue so we can stop them from selling this type of product.”

They were laws some thought were already on the books.

A SIMPLE CHEMICAL CHANGE

During our investigation last November , I-Team 8’s hidden cameras showed central Indiana retailers skirting a 2011 law that banned spice and bath salts simply by tweaking the chemicals inside.

Our findings led to a new law in March that banned more than 60 additional chemical compounds . Any new ones that surfaced, lawmakers promised, would be covered too, thanks to a landmark provision that allowed the state’s Pharmacy Board to make “emergency rules,” similar to the federal government’s “emergency scheduling” provisions used by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“We have that stopgap, and it’s called the Pharmacy Board,” state Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said shortly after the new law was signed in March. “When we aren’t in session, they can be on the look out along with AIT and other labs and [Indiana] State Police. We now have a watchdog.”

With their newly seized stash, frustrated Lawrence narcotics officers hoped that watchdog could be the answer to keeping those 402 packets from returning to store shelves.

Instead they found a dead end.

“There might not be anything we can do about it right now because the retailer says, ‘I’m going to sell it. It’s legal,’” Merritt said Monday.

Banning a new chemical compound through the Pharmacy Board isn’t as easy as snapping ones’ fingers, Merritt said.

“There are stipulations in the law that it has to be illegal in other states, or there has to be some sort of combination of why this is against the law somewhere else. If a federal law or another state outlaws the component that is found in one of the drugs in the state of Indiana, then the Pharmacy Board can write an emergency rule outlawing it in Indiana. And the reason why is that the committees and the legislature itself didn’t want you outlawing Pledge or something that could be huffed from an air conditioning unit. They wanted to make sure that [a] drug is harmful. Thus, they put the tethers on it,” Merritt said.

A PROBLEM IN LAWRENCE

That’s a problem for Lawrence Police’s bust on Post Road, because so far initial tests at Marion County’s Crime Lab show the compounds are not already illegal anywhere else.

According to police reports, the shop’s owner, Christopher Tiplick, 21, told detectives he had independent lab reports he said proved the packets were legal.

“He promised to email those to our detectives,” Bigsby said. “In this particular case, that has not happened.”

I-Team 8 worked to track down Tiplick to see what will happen to the packets next, but our attempts to call him on his cell phone and speak with him at his home and his company’s distribution center Tuesday were unsuccessful.

An employee at the Lawrence store wouldn’t speak with I-Team 8 on camera but said when the products are returned by police, she believes they will put them back out on the shelves.

“We’re following

[the law], as best we can,” she said.

That’s left some calling for the laws to be changed once again.

“We will have a bill this next session to catch up, if you will,” Merritt said. “But we need to find a different avenue. We can’t just go into session every once a year and put more compounds on the list to make them illegal. We need to find a way where we go to the intent. One thing we probably need to do is fund the Pharmacy Board so they can do their own testing. We’re going to need state law to bless, if you will, whatever the Pharmacy Board does, and to put it into the code, rather than just the rules.”

Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, who co-authored the new bill with Merritt, agreed, saying the time has come to think outside the box.

“We’re looking for the unconventional ways to get these off store shelves, going after [retailers] for things like their websites or false advertising or even tax evasion,” Smith said. “And we are having some impact. We’re seeing incidents of [overdoses] way down, and the potency appears to be dropping. We’ve even had stories of people returning the new batches of the drugs, asking for their money back when they don’t get high.”

SEARCHING FOR NEW SOLUTIONS

The search for solutions may move away from the Statehouse for the time being, and head to a courthouse instead.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller met in a roundtable discussion with state lawmakers and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week to discuss ways to eradicate synthetic drugs from both states.

“I think they’ve found that the statute they passed last year that talked about the type of ingredients – the molecular structure – is probably going to be difficult to enforce and difficult to prosecute. So we heard from the prosecutors and law enforcement that it’s very difficult to follow that same type of pattern that other states have tried,” Zoeller said.

He plans to hit retailers where it could hurt most: their wallets.

“A lot of these so-called bath salts and [spice] are sold in retail companies that have licenses. So, unlike the criminal case where you have to prove they knowingly and intentionally sold an illegal product, on the civil side, we may be pretty aggressive going after people who have to make sure they’re not selling a dangerous product to the population. We’ve sent out some warnings, and we’re going to do more than that. There are civil actions that can go against the retailers who are selling a dangerous product. And I think they have to be careful. It’s not the same burden of proof,” Zoeller said.

It’s a solution that’s already made a difference in Illinois, Zoeller said. And it’s one his office plans to pursue immediately.

“You have to prove that you’re not selling a dangerous product. I don’t care what the chemical composition is,” Zoeller said.

Then, pausing, he continued with added determination.

“You can expect that out of my office very soon,” he said. “If it’s a hazard to the public, you shouldn’t be selling it. Period.”

Synthetic drug charge lodged after Utica dispute, police say


UTICA —

A dispute at the 501 Court St. Nice n’ Easy resulted in a man facing several charges, including a new city ordinance about possessing synthetic drugs, Utica police said.

Police said at about 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Officer Charles Parkosewich responded to the store and eventually charged David Case, 41, of Arnold Avenue, Utica, with:

* Fourth-degree criminal mischief.

*  Unlawful possession of synthetic drugs.

* No driver’s license.

* Third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.

None of the charges are felonies.

It is alleged that Case punched the passenger side mirror of another person’s motor vehicle, causing it to break.

During the arrest, officers found him to be in possession of synthetic marijuana called Bazaar, police said.

296 packages of synthetic drugs seized in Utica; clerk charged


UTICA —

drugs.jpg

Some of the drugs seized during a raid at Tebb’s in Utica on Friday, July 20, 2012.

Utica police Friday night seized 296 packages of synthetic drugs and charged the store’s clerk.

The department’s Special Operations Unit at about 11 p.m. went to Tebb’s head shop at 252 Genesee St. and found the drugs for sale in the store, police said.

Nicole Blohm, 29, of Rome, was charged with possession of a synthetic drug, a violation, police said.

Police schedule synthetic drug education workshop


Linn Creek, Mo. —

bath salts.jpg
Wikimedia

Synthetic drugs have been a recent topic of discussion for Linn Creek law enforcement.

Linn Creek and Crocker Police Departments are hosting a public hearing to educate the community on K-2 bath salts and synthetic drugs. The hearing is scheduled for August 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Camendton Museum located in Linn Creek.

Law enforcement hope to educate the community of the harm of such drugs. “Just because you can buy it at a gas station, doesn’t mean it is good for your health,” Trevor Dowdney, Linn Creek Police Chief, said.

Dowdney also said that officials will discuss new types of synthetic drugs that people need to be aware of. The hearing is open to all of Camden County.

Refreshments will be served. The hearing is set to last about an hour then will be open for questions and answers.

Authorities seize $30,000 worth of synthetic marijuana


Wilmington | Law enforcement officers seized about $30,000 worth of illegal synthetic marijuana Thursday at a Wilmington smoke shop, according to a Wilmington Police Department news release.

The bust, at the Northern Lights Smoke Shop at 4710-D Market Street, is thought to be the largest such seizure of the drug to-date in the Port City region, according to the release.

No charges in connection to the seizure have been filed, the release said.

Officers with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the WPD found more than 1,400 packets of the substance, known commonly as spice, after serving a search warrant at the shop Thursday afternoon. The spice was packaged for sale in 1-gram portions for about $20 per pack. Investigators also seized about $2,000 in cash from the shop, the release said.

The effects of the drug, which was banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Association in 2011, mimic that of marijuana.

The investigation is ongoing, the release said.

 

Police: Evidence suggests suspect smoked drug ‘K2’


SWAT team, negotiator assist in Edmond incident

 

EDMOND — Evidence found in an Edmond home suggested that a man involved in an hour-long standoff with officers had smoked the synthetic drug “K2,” police said.

Both the Edmond Police Department SWAT team and a negotiator were called to the scene, a home in north Edmond near the Kelly-Danforth intersection, police said.

At about 6 p.m. July 12 Edmond Police Officer Ben Daves was dispatched to 406 Nimrod Road in reference to a domestic disturbance, according to a report filed by Daves. He was advised by dispatch that the suspect had threatened to stab the victim, police said.

When Daves arrived he spoke with the victim who said during an argument the suspect had held a knife to his stomach, police said. Earlier, when the victim asked the suspect if he was going to stab him, the suspect said he would, police said.

Daves stated that the victim said the suspect had barricaded himself in his room and refused to come out. He said the suspect had been smoking K2 for the past couple of days, police said.

Daves went to an adjacent bedroom and began speaking with the suspect, police said. During the conversation the suspect said he had at least two knives in his room.

“I asked him about his intentions with the knives and he told me ‘open the (expletive) door and you’ll find out,” Daves stated in the report.

Throughout the conversation, the suspect made it clear that if the officer entered the room he would have to use force on him because he would not drop the knives, police said.

Daves called Edmond Police Sgt. Bill Gilbert to the scene so he could take control of it, police said. He and Daves both attempted to speak with the suspect but were unsuccessful. Gilbert contacted Lt. Bob Pratt and after a short time it was decided to involve the SWAT and negotiations teams, police said.

When they arrived Daves and Lt. Paul Barbour staged across the hall from the suspect’s room and Barbour began negotiations while Daves provided cover for him, police said. After about an hour, the suspect exited the room, police said.

Daves took the suspect into custody and put him in his patrol car, police said. After the officer obtained consent he retrieved a Gerber knife and a Kobalt razor blade box knife. The victim said the suspect held the Gerber knife to his stomach, police said.

Daves also found in plain view a green “bong” used for smoking K2 and/or marijuana lying on the floor next to the knives, according to the report. The bong had K2 residue on it, police said.

In a previous report, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward told The Edmond Sun K2 produces powerful euphoria and hallucinogenic symptoms 90 percent similar to marijuana. A mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Police said Gregory Scott Salisbury, 21, of Edmond, was arrested on an assault with a deadly weapon complaint and transported to the city jail. On July 12 he was booked into the county jail where he was held on $7,500 bond.

Under questioning the suspect said during the argument the victim had opened the door to his room, that he got mad and “bucked up to” the victim, police said. The suspect said the victim did not leave the doorway so he held the knife to his stomach, police said.

When Daves asked the suspect if he intended on stabbing the victim he said he did not, according to the report. He told Daves he just wanted to make the victim think he would stab him so he could scare him, police said.

On Monday, a probable cause hearing was held in Oklahoma County District Court and probable cause was found to bound over the suspect, according to court records. No defense attorney was listed. No future court dates have been posted on the state’s court information website.

The suspect had not yet entered a plea in court either.

$20,000 worth of spice confiscated in apartment drug bust


HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) –

Huntsville Police made a large spice bust at an apartment on Thursday night.

Officers served a search warrant at the Monte Sano Terrace Apartments, at Apt. 411.

A long-term investigation led them to this location to make an arrest. There, they found several boxes of spice worth $20,000. Police said this controlled substance analog has a hallucinogenic effect similar to LSD.

Mohmed Michael Mertinez-Shoucair was arrested during the bust and charged with trafficking a controlled substance.

Mertinez-Shoucair was arrested and charged with drug trafficking in June during a spice bust at the Lincoln Mini-Mart, on Washington Street, which was busted twice before.

He was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance analog for this bust. His bond was set at $250,000.00.

Other charges expected to follow on other individuals involved.