Posted at: 02/01/2013 3:53 AM
Updated at: 02/01/2013 5:43 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion
Synthetic marijuana is a dangerous drug every parent should be concerned with, especially after state police raided five local stores and confiscate more than 900 packets.
State police say more teenagers are getting their hands on it. So investigators have been keeping an eye on several smoke shops.
State police raided nine smoke shops in upstate New York, five of them were in Rochester. Three were close to downtown. The other shops were in Gates and Greece.
Police say they have been watching these stores for six months and now they have made three arrests.
State police say this is an on going investigation and that every smoke shop owner should know by now, these drugs are not to be manufactured, distributed or sold anywhere through out the state.
State police say they confiscated 11,000 packets of suspected synthetic marijuana throughout upstate New York. They say five local store owners have violated the new legislation. 992 bags were found here in Rochester. Police say these shops purchase the drug at $5 a piece and sell it for $15-$25 a bag. Investigators say store owners are making a substantial amount of money off these synthetic products.
Police say Elab Smoke Shop on Monroe Avenue and the one on Lake Avenue are violators. Also, Dazed and Confused Tobacco on Buffalo Road in Gates, Illusions Smoke Shop in Greece and Dewey Avenue Smoke shop were raided.
43-year-old Brooklyn Boise of Spencerport, 31 year old Russell Landon of Rochester and 32 year old Jasen Kendrot of Rochester were issued appearance tickets. And because of the amount of drugs seized, they may be federally prosecuted. State police say it goes to show how seriously they are about getting this dangerous drug off the street.
Lt. Martin McKee said, New York State Police, “As with any prohibitive substance use, it's a huge public health threat. I think people assume that because it's sold and packaged like it is some other commercially sold goods. Whether it's a medication or food or food additive they assume that some thought was put into its manufacture as it relates to their health and safety. But in this case many of these products are manufactured outside the country.”
Another drug banned in the amendment bath salts. In these cases there was no bath salts found at all. The packages confiscated in these raids will be tested at the state lab and sent to an outside lab as well. Police say they do this as a protocol for legal purposes, but they are more than sure that the packages contain the dangerous drug.
State police say they are far from done. They are still looking into other stores in our area that may be selling the drug. They expect to make even more arrests.