Cops Seize Bath Salts, Synthetic Pot at Hartford Gas Stations

Police seized synthetic pot, bath salts, counterfeit clothing and untaxed cigarettes when narcotic units raided two City Gas stations on Tuesday.

Arrest warrants were issued for people associated with the two gas stations on 1510 Albany Ave and 10 White Street.

Three employees were taken into custody at the scene.

Mohammed Shaheen, 51, of New Britain, Shiraj Mohammed, 50, of Newington, and Ahmed Mustak, 32, of Hartford all face charges of counterfeit stamps/labels, possession of hallucinogenics and intent to sell.

Photo credit: Hartford Police

Detectives were able to find 37 packs of synthetic marijuana and 1022 grams of bath salts hidden in the ceiling tiles of one of the businesses. Police also obtained 663 counterfeit knit winter hats with team logos embroidered on, a large amount of untaxed tobacco products and $28,187.

Earlier in the day, police said they were investigating a possible break-in at the Gas City on Albany Avenue. Police said the businesses were closed down but someone had burglarized one of them by forced entry. The burglary investigation is ongoing.

Store owner agrees to largest-ever settlement for selling spice

DENVER – The owner of a Denver tobacco store has agreed to the largest-ever settlement for selling the illegal synthetic marijuana drug known as spice, reports CBS Denver.

Orlando Martinez has agreed to pay $160,000 in a civil case stemming from a 2013 sting in which Colorado state officials purchased spice products from his store, O’ Pipes and Tobacco. Martinez was arrested, and officials later seized 1,319 total packages of spice products, testing four of the items for banned cannabinoid compounds.

All four tested positive, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

State officials said some of the spice products contained a specific synthetic compound that caused more than 200 hospitalizations in Colorado in the fall of 2013.

Martinez declined to comment on the settlement to CBS Denver.

Store owner agrees to largest-ever settlement for selling spice

City proposes new fines & jail time for spice users, dealers

City proposes new fines & jail time for spice users, dealers

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is proposing new criminal penalties for using and dealing the synthetic drug spice, which authorities say has become a burden on emergency services in the city.

The current penalty for possession of the drug is a citation for $500. Anchorage police have issued 30 such citations since August, according to the mayor’s office.

“The new ordinance and accompanying resolution will increase penalties for spice distribution to up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine,” according to Monday announcement from the mayor.

According to EMS Battalion Chief Mike Crotty, about a half dozen spice-related incidents occurred in just a matter of minutes around 4 p.m. Monday. At times during the day, all of the Anchorage Fire Department’s resources citywide were being used to answer spice calls coming from Downtown, Crotty said.

The mayor’s proposal would include a penalty for spice usage which would include up to six months of jail time and a $2,000 fine.

The proposal is scheduled for the Assembly agenda on Oct. 27.

The Anchorage Fire Department has transported 468 patients who were suspected of consuming spice between July 18 and Oct. 4, according to the press release. “This number represents 11 percent of AFD’s total transports and an average of nearly six individuals every 24 hours,” officials wrote.

Synthetic drug operation seized

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say more than 20,000 units and 50 pounds of the synthetic drug known as Spice or K2 has been seized in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

It was the second statewide synthetic drug investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Also seized was more than $385,000, five vehicles and multiple firearms after authorities executed a dozen search warrants Monday.

Authorities have been investigating the manufacturing and distribution operation of dangerous cannabinoids since April 2012.

The synthetic compound activates some of the same receptors in the body stimulated by cannabis.

The warrants were served at locations including a manufacturing warehouse, five retail outlets and multiple homes in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The Phoenix, Scottsdale and Gilbert police departments and their SWAT units assisted in the investigation with the DEA.

Herbal Incense – Where are we now?

Herbal incense spice came to the streets years ago like wild fire. So many people that were weed smokers and for one reason or another can not smoke weed anymore just thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. Why you might ask?

Let me give you some reasons why this spice took off not only with teens but adults also. Some adults are on probation or have a high profile job that they are not willing to loose. When you bust your ass for years and have a high profile job its not worth it to risk smoking weed and taking that chance of loosing your job. Now your family would only suffer if you were to get not only fired but thrown in jail for smoking weed. Users have smoked weed for so many years it is just one of those things that is here to stay. Lets face it, many people are for weed.

Many states in the United States have already made weed legal in some states like Cali and Colorado. Its very hard to tell someone that believes so strong in something to just turn there cheek and look the other way. So a few years ago spice was introduced to all these corner stores. The marketing from the spice manufactures was simple. Make a product that gave users a similar effect as marijuana, then take that product spice and market it in packages that focused on teens. They even came out with names that reflected cartoons and words that applied to young youth.

Now you might think that this is crazy and these makers of spice are stupid There not, it was a great marketing plot to ensure they profits came rolling in. Law makers were one step behind the manufactures for years. Only till the last few months have law makers caught up to the dealers with placing strick laws in place. For months the police could do nothing, they were driving to corner stores in every state and “Asking the stores to please not carry spice products”. Now thats pretty sad.

The owner of the stores did not have to listen to the police at all. There was no law in place if they kept selling the spice. Many stores were raided and all there product was striped from there shelves and they were not breaking any law. But the police used threats and scare tactics to take product from the owners of business’s across america.

So today were are we at with spice drugs? Will the manufactures create a new product that is one step of the law makers yet again. I think so, there is to much money on the table and there thinking of new ways to get there loss profits back. Only time will tell what is up there sleeves.

Drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

‘Spice’ used to reach drug-like high but with adverse effects

ENID, Okla. — The bright, eye-catching packets are labeled “incense,” “potpourri,” “bath salts” or “spice.” The labels read, “aromatherapy use only” and “not for human consumption.”

But the substances inside the packets are far from the innocent labels and disclaimers make them sound.

Using them produces a marijuana-like, amphetamine-like or LSD-like high, but their adverse effects are powerful.

Enid Police Det. Zeke Frazee is well aware of the frightening aspects of “spice.” He pointed to common side effects, including hallucinations, seizures, extreme paranoia, nausea and dangerously accelerated heart rate. Yet because the products are used simply to get high, people won’t admit using it.

“They don’t tell anyone what they’ve smoked,” Frazee said.

Michelle Hennedy, director of the emergency department at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, agrees.

Patients have come to the emergency room numerous times with symptoms that make the medical staff suspect they are high on “spice” or “bath salts.”

“A lot of what we’re seeing is patients whose behavior is not appropriate,” Hennedy said. “They can be confused, combative, they’re very angry.”

Hennedy said they often are brought in because they have fallen, passed out or some similar incident. She estimates most are between 18 and 40 years old.

But not every user is 18. Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools, said a student at Enid High School was arrested twice in April on charges of public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrests were 19 days apart. A second student also was arrested for public intoxication.

When patients are brought to the hospital with symptoms of drug overdose, physicians can order drug tests – but the tests don’t disclose synthetic drugs.

When patients are asked what they’ve used, “they’re not honest with us,” Hennedy said.

Likewise, there is no standard field test for law enforcement to use in order to find out if a packet of “incense” is a formula already illegal or a newer formula.

“It must be sent to OSBI lab and the result comes back in two to three weeks,” Frazee said.

Frazee said product reviews and instructions for use of “incense” are easy to find online.

“If you go on YouTube, there are kids talking about how to smoke this,” he said.

Some of the online videos Frazee has watched warn that synthetic marijuana is far more potent than marijuana from a plant.

“It’s more like acid or LSD,” Frazee said.

Frazee said synthetic marijuana was first developed in the early 1990s as part of legitimate medical research being done by John Huffman, organic chemistry professor at Clemson University. After Huffman’s research papers were published, entrepreneurs copied his formula and began marketing it.

Gas stations, gift stores and convenience stores sell it in Enid. Sometimes it is kept out of sight and the customer has to ask for it. Other times, it is displayed in plain sight behind the counter, Frazee said. After all, despite its dangerous qualities, it’s a legal product.

Some of the earlier formulas were outlawed in Oklahoma last year, but the people making “spice” tweaked the formula and quickly were back in business.

Store owners Frazee has talked to, said that since it’s not illegal and they make good money off it, they’ll continue to sell it. He said he believes the stores pay $3 to $4 per bag for it.

“When you see it in plain view, they are selling it as incense,” Frazee said. “They know what it does. I’ve even spoken with those store owners and operators. They said it’s legal and they make good money off it, and until it’s illegal, they would continue to sell it. If you have to hide it and it’s selling for $30 a bag, shouldn’t that tell you something?”

Maine Street Mini-Mart is one of the many businesses in Enid that sells “spice.” Store owner A.J. Marand, contacted by telephone on Wednesday, hung up when asked if he would talk about why his business sells the product.

Glen Kuhn, charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute because his business, Your Quality Store, allegedly stocked illegal “spice” for sale, also declined to comment for this article.

“I’ve talked to people who sell this and they’ve told me a million stories about people who’ve bought this and had bad trips,” Frazee said. “They sell it anyway. It’s about money.”

Because the envelopes are marked “not for human consumption,” and “for aromatherapy use only,” the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the formulas and no consistency exists from one batch to the next. Additionally, there is no age limit to buy it.

“This stuff is new, so it doesn’t have long-term studies yet as for the effects,” Frazee said.

Hennedy said the more someone uses the product, the more their judgment is skewed, and they can put themselves in danger because they are not thinking clearly. But, while Hennedy worries about the safety of the patients who are using “incense,” she also worries about the safety of the emergency room staff when rendering treatment to them.

“It’s a concern because you never really know what you’re treating,” Hennedy said. “You always want to do the best for the patient. I wonder if they are going to go home and do it again or introduce someone else to it — someone younger.”

“Smoking synthetic marijuana is playing Russian roulette, because you don’t know what it’s going to do to you,” Frazee said.

warn against ‘spice’ drug

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Health officials say a form of synthetic marijuana known as “spice” has caused at least a half-dozen cases of sudden kidney failure in Oregon and southwest Washington since May.

The Oregon Health Authority says experts are analyzing samples of synthetic marijuana to find the toxin that triggered the injuries. The agency has also asked doctors across the region to report any cases of kidney failure linked to the drug.

Spice-related illnesses have been reported elsewhere in the United States. Authorities in Wyoming made three arrests in March after several people in the Casper area were hospitalized for kidney failure after smoking spice.

The Oregon Board of Pharmacy voted to ban the sale and possession of synthetic cannabis products last year.

Ban On Sale Of Synthetic Drug spice

A 17-year-old urges people not to smoke it.

Calls for a ban on the sale of synthetic drugs known as “spice” is a good idea, according to one downtown Frederick merchant. Mary Jean Clark, is the owner of a tea shop along North Market Street called “Viola.” She says has seen large numbers of people come up to “Classic Cigars and British Goodies” to purchase this stuff. “Cars from all the surrounding states will be pulling up,” she says. “It’s like a quick drive-in window type of thing, where they park illegally, run into the store, buy it and run out. The cars are full. Sometimes there are babies in the backs of these cars. It’s just tragic what you see going on.”

“Classic Cigars and British Goodies” sells this material as potpourri, but its sale is limited to persons 18 and older. “However, if you stand in the middle of my store, which is two doors down, you watch transactions go down. You watch younger kids paying older kids to go in. It looks like drug deals,” Clark says.

She also says she’s seen kids using it, and then getting violently ill. “Well, they’re vomiting on the streets. They’re going into seizures,” she says.

As a result of this activity, Clark says she’s looking at her options, and may move out of the downtown.

Richard, a 17-year-old who did not want to give his last name, had a bad experience smoking “spice.” In March, 2011, he, his younger brother and a cousin tried this product, and he says they almost died. “All of three of us were sitting there on the couch. My little brother is puking. Our hearts are beating so fast we can see them, and it feels like they’re about to jump out of our throats. We thought we were about the die, literally,” he says. Richard also says all three of them were hallucinating.

Richard says he called Poison Control. “I wanted to see if we could sober up before she {his mother} got home,” he says. But, he says, Poison Control told him to call 911 before he went into cardiac arrest or had a heart attack.

Richard says it took a while for the affects of “spice” to wear off.

Clark says she’s heard similar stories from parents about their children using “spice,” especially at a recent community meeting with the Frederick Police Department. “One parent was struggling. Their child had been in trouble had been on probation, and said,you know, ‘nanny, nanny boo-boo! I’m going to do this!’ It’s legal, and they can’t test it in drug testing. Their kids are having adverse reactions, behavioral issues now,” she says.

Richard, who has not smoked “spice” since that day he had a bad reaction, says the product is available among high school students. “It’s pretty prevalent now. You’ll see it a lot with a lot of people that usually they can’t find real marijuana, and they don’t have anything else. So, this stuff seems so much easier to get,” he says.

Richard also talks to young people, urging them not to try “spice.” “Just take it for me. It can affect you negatively, and it can kill you,” he says.

The Town of Thurmont is considering an ordinance to ban the sale of this stuff, and some parents in Frederick want city officials to do the same. While some people may say that drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes kill more people than “spice,” Clark doesn’t agree with that comparison. “Alcohol and tobacco are long term use affects. They are addictive substances. They’re regulated; they’re heavily taxed. This product is not heavily taxed,” she says.

Clark says she would like to see this product banned, or heavily taxed and regulated.

Read more:

Synthetic drug “spice” linked to at least six kidney failures

A form of synthetic marijuana known as “spice” has caused at least a half-dozen cases of sudden kidney failure in Oregon and southwest Washington since May, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

The agency said experts are analyzing samples to determine what toxin is causing problems. It has also asked doctors across the region to report cases of kidney failure that might be linked to the drug.

“This is not just a bad trip,” said Gary Schnabel, executive director of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, which voted to ban the sale and possession of synthetic cannabis products last year. “We are talking about your kidneys, and you only have two of them.”

The six patients requiring hospitalization were from the Portland, Salem and Roseburg areas, as well as Vancouver, Wash. The most recent case occurred in late September.

Five of the patients were 18 or younger, and all were male. Though they have been discharged, they remain at heightened risk for kidney problems later in life.

Spice, which is typically smoked, is a mixture of plant material sprayed with a designer drug similar to THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. It’s marketed under street names such as “K2,” ”herbal incense” and “potpourri.”

Sharon Su, M.D., a kidney specialist at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, began treating a 17-year-old boy in August. (Read his firsthand account)

“His kidneys were shutting down,” Dr. Su told KATU News Friday.

“He was in really bad shape,” Su said. “He did not eat for several days. He was in a lot of pain, which is really unusual for kidney failure.”

Federal law enforcement does have a good lead on which batch of synthetic marijuana is tainted because of cooperation from the family of the boy Su treated.

UAE calls for prohibition of ‘spice’ drug

The Ministry of Interior has recommended prohibiting the smuggling, possessing and trafficking of ‘Spice Drugs’ at the 26th Arab Convention of Heads of Anti Narcotics Authorities held in Tunisia on October 3 and 4.
In a paper presented to showcase the experience of the UAE on Spice drugs, it was stated that the UAE has become the first Arab country to illegalise such drugs.

Synthetic cannabis, locally known as spice, affects the mind like hashish does. A panel commissioned with studying Spice recommended to criminalise and prohibit it, including smuggling, possessing, using and trafficking. Possessing Spice has now become a punishable offense by the UAE law. The UAE delegation was led by Colonel Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Federal Anti Narcotics Department of the Ministry of Interior.

During the conference, the country’s delegation passed a full report showing the local and international efforts exerted by the UAE to tackle narcotics.