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