A New York State Police investigation, in conjunction with several state and village law enforcement agencies including Dewitt Police, into the sale of synthetic drugs has led to the seizure of more than 11,000 packages that police believe contain synthetic marijuana.
Central New York is no stranger to the synthetic drug craze, with a new bath salts story seemingly every day over the summer. Since then, the police and other agencies have tried to crack down on the distribution of these banned substances.
You may remember Madison County, after a Munnsville woman was tasered and died after attacking her three-year-old child while high on bath salts, pushed to enact one of the nationâ??s first synthetic drug bans.
Head shops from all over Central New York were being monitored by the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, for the sale of synthetic drugs.
In conjunction with state police, CNETâ??s investigation led to the big bust, including the seizure of the synthetic marijuana, along with 200 packages of bath salts and $16,000 cash. The synthetic marijuana is said to be worth approximately $150,000, according to troopers.
Four people were arrested in relation to the drug bust for violating section 229 of the N.Y.S. Public Health Law. Brooklyn Boise, 43, Spencerport, Russell P. Landon, 31, Rochester, Jasen M. Kendrot, 32, Rochester, and Clyde Beach, 56, Cuddebackville.
Because of the volume of illegal drugs seized, the Drug Enforcement Administration may seek federal prosecution.
The local owner of Tebbâ??s Head Shops, John Tebbets III, was arrested and charged with mislabeling synthetic drugs in an attempt to skirt New York labeling laws. Tebbets III was selling synthetic drugs in his stores and labeling them with a â??not for human consumptionâ?? warning label. The labeling law has since been changed; it now requires listing where the drug is made, the product name, the distributer and a list of its contents.
Nine businesses were involved in the State Police search: Jamaica Junction â?? 15 Front Street, Port Jervis, Dewey Avenue Smoke Shop â?? 1405 Dewey Avenue, Rochester, Elab Smokers Boutique - 719 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, Elab Smokers Boutique â?? 4373 Lake Avenue, Rochester, Illusions Smoke Shop â?? 2854 Dewey Avenue, Greece, Dazed and Confused Tobacco â?? 1308 Buffalo Road, Gates, Alchemy Gift Shop â?? 6910 Buffalo Road, Niagara Falls, Zonen Ltd. â?? 6697 Old Collamer Road, East Syracuse and Hightops Sneakers & Smoking Accessory â?? 193 State Street, Auburn.
All of these shops had been selling synthetic drugs, according to officials.
This is the latest in New Yorkâ??s attempts to enforce the synthetic law ban, leading Niagara District Attorney Michael J. Violante to say, â??I am happy to learn of law enforcement's proactive efforts to rid our communities of synthetic drugs such as synthetic marihuana and bath salts. The New York State Police and local law enforcement need the help of the public as well. If you see these synthetic drug products in your corner stores, call the police. Let's shut down these stores that sell dangerous drugs to our children."