Spice and bath salts operations tied to smoke shops; Local task force takes them down

WASHINGTON COUNTY – On April 18, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. the Washington County Area Drug and Gang Task Force and the following assisting agencies: St. George Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington City Police Department, Adult Probation and Parole, Immigrations, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, conducted a multi-jurisdiction operation with simultaneous search warrants being served on local Smoke Shops in the City of St George and Washington City, one residence, and one warehouse storage unit in Washington City.

The operation was a result of an eight-month investigation into the illegal manufacturing, distributing, and possessing of manufactured Spice and Bath Salt which also includes their analogs, homologs and synthetic equivalents.

In the past year Washington County has seen a drastic increase of individuals purchasing and using Spice and Bath Salts which has very dangerous and potentially life threatening consequences. Individuals are purchasing these items from local smoke shops within our county. Spice is marketed here in our community as “incense.” It is typically packaged in a small pouch or small clear container. The ingredients listed on the packaging do not always reflect what’s actually in the product.  Bath Salts are synthetic, stimulant powders that contain amphetamine-like chemicals, including mephedrone. We have found illegal chemicals in both the Spice and Bath Salts, being manufactured, distributed and possessed by our Smoke shops and individuals in the community.

Four individuals were arrested and booked, two male and two female, for related charges including: distribution of Spice and Bath Salts, weapons off

ense, child endangerment, warrants, and business license violations. As the investigation continues more arrests may be made. The smoke shops included: Mike’s Smoke shop, Earrings and More,Hit it Up in St. George, and Mike’s Smoke Shop in Washington City.

Total Spice collected from the Smoke shops, residence, and warehouse totaled over 200 pounds with an estimated street value of over $1.5 million; Bath Salt Powder was over 56 pounds with an estimated street value of over $600,000.

This was a collective effort by all agencies involved in this operation to remove these dangerous chemicals and the illegal activities associated with the production and distribution of Spice and Bath Salts to ensure the safety of the citizens of our County.

Capt. James Van Fleet

St. George Police Department

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12 Comments

  • Carlos Hernadez Phillipe Santana April 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    LMAO!! over spice, amigos, spice, spice?

  • Jess April 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    You think it’s funny…but it’s NOT!!! I have a 17yr old son who was just diagnosed with a seizure disorder and will be on meds the rest of his life…a kid who had no medical issues until he started smoking that SH**!!! So keep laughing…I pray for you that nothing ever happens to someone you love “over spice”!

  • Not a Mormon April 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Jess, what is funny to her is obviously not funny to you. It’s tragic, but your son reaped the consequences of what he sewed. No need to get vitriolic and attack someone else.
    .
    Like all drugs, it should be regulated for adults to use responsibly. Don’t sell it to kids, but let the adults screw up their lives all they want. “Free Agency” anyone? Or isn’t that a Utah thing anymore?

  • Kelli April 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    My fiancee’s workshop is on the same street as that “warehouse” and it pisses me off that those losers and that kind of activity was so close to where he has to work. Glad they caught these morons!!

  • Earl April 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you to all the agencies for following this and closing this all down. If we want to keep St. George safe and drug free we need to rid ourselves of all of this activity. Drugs turn good people into bad people and drugs are bad for society.

  • Andy April 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

    To the “Is a Moron” ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You think if you put not a Mormon it makes what you say valid. Obviously Jess was upset because of a person who you could tell smokes spice and has not had to endore the repercusions of what that stuff does. You honestly think that crap should be regulated, what is wronge with you people. What should be regulated is allowing retards like you to produce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ashley May 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Excuse me??? You have no idea who you are calling losers!!!! so maybe you should check yourself!!! Keep your nose in your own business!!

  • Bevisss April 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    LMMFAOSHMDLFA!!!!!!

  • Ashley May 23, 2012 at 12:37 am

    It should be regulated, just like alchahol & tabacco is. Who are you people to deny freedom of choice? & st george will NEVER be drug free so long as there is a demand, there will be a supply, there is nothing anyone can do about it, sure take down the people making it, someone else will take their place in a week. And on a more sensative subject; you love this country for your freedoms & rights dont you? Well all those wonderful people who wrote them up & made it all happen for YOU grew, sold, & smoke marijuana openly. But go ahead & pass judgement, cuz you know whats best huh?

    • Resident September 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you Ashley! What ever happened to free choice? Why does all of this have to be sooooooo difficult!?! This whole spice and bath salts issue would go away if they just legalized marijuana. Why would it be so hard to regulate/sell this? It could be sold in the liquor stores to adults, while being regulated by the state. I think we could use the tax money it would bring in, and it would be under the control of the state. Everything has potential consequences, which should be the individual’s (adult) choice to decide whether they are acceptable or not. It is quite naive to believe that this helps keep St. George “drug-free.” There are many more dangerous drugs that cause greater destruction to people’s lives and are more of a burden to our community like methamphetamine. How about if we focus on those?

  • Jeanie November 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    You morons that take sell & take that stuff pay the “karma price”. I have an ex -husband who USED to be a good guy and after taking that white lightning crap he’s not even the same person – he is like a hollow shell of the person he used to be. It’s affected his reasoning skills and his intellect -he now has no feeling, compassion or reasoning skills and used to be a motivated’ kind, intelligent person and now is just a loser. You would think a 55 year old man who used to tell his boys to stay away from drugs, smoking and alcohol would know better but apparently NOT!

  • wendy January 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Jeanie. I so feel for you. My son starting that spice and has the same symptons yourhusband has. This has to be the saddest drug ever.

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