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Search yields synthetic drugs at store
Nov 29, 2012 4:00 pm
Lebanon police found thousands of dollars worth of synthetic drugs and drug paraphernalia during a search at a Lebanon convenience store Wednesday.
Officers seized 38 packets of synthetic drugs and “thousands of items” considered drug paraphernalia while executing a search warrant at One Stop Market at 725 E. Main Street, according to police Chief Scott Bowen.
The store clerk was detained, but no charges were filed. Bowen said the investigation – a joint effort between the Lebanon police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation – is still under way as police plan to seek an indictment from a grand jury during the next session.
Police have been investigating One Stop since receiving tips about possible drug activity there in May 2011. In July, police executed another search warrant at the store with similar results. Synthetic drugs, drug paraphernalia, a handgun and several thousands of dollars were seized then.
Since July, undercover officers bought synthetic drugs from the store five times, said Bowen.
According to Bowen, synthetic drugs come in several varieties.
“Some of this stuff is so unknown, we have to actually send it in to get it analyzed to see what’s in it,” said Bowen.
Early efforts to combat synthetic drugs, such as “Spice,” “K2” and “Bath Salts” frustrated law enforcement as loopholes in the law allowed manufacturers to slightly change the ingredients and thus legalize the product. However, recent legislation has shored those loopholes.
Sale of synthetic drugs is a felony, and the city can revoke the store’s beer permit.
"By city ordinance we can take their beer permits," said Bowen. "They can be revoked if they are found to be detrimental to health, safety and welfare of the community."
According to Bowen, synthetic drugs are detrimental to a person's health, safety and welfare.
“We had a kid we arrested, and we found some marijuana on him,” said Bowen. “When we got him to booking, he was unconscious. Come to find out, he had used some of this synthetic stuff. He was in the hospital for three days, and he almost died…This stuff is more dangerous than marijuana ever thought about being.”