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      First arrest made under Utica??s new ordinance for possession of synthetic drugs

      Benjamin Silva
      Utica Police made the first arrest for unlawful possession of synthetic drugs on Wednesday.

      Police say 30-year-old Benjamin Silva, of Baker Avenue, was arrested for several domestic violence arrest warrants for harassment and felony criminal contempt stemming from a domestic incident where he allegedly pushed his wife earlier this month. Police say Silva also violated an order of protection.

      During the arrest, police found that Silva had marijuana and a jar of bath salts on him. The bath salts were in a small glass jar labeled "Cleaner."

      Police charged Silva with unlawful possession of marijuana, and possession of synthetic drugs under the City of Utica's newly passed city ordinance.

      This is the first arrest made under Utica??s new ordinance for "unlawful possession of synthetic drugs." The ordinance was passed unanimously by the Common Council on July 11.

      The ordinance is broadly worded to include any and all synthetic drugs, even those that don't exist yet. The ordinance makes both selling and possessing bath salts a violation punishable by a $250 fine or 15 days in jail.