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13 businesses sited for illegal sale of synthetic drugs

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 6:09pm

OUACHITA PARISH, LA — Troopers with the Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division and agents from the Metro Narcotics Task Force served search and arrest warrants at thirteen Ouachita Parish businesses following an investigation into the illegal sales of synthetic marijuana and bath salt items.

In the fall of 2011, a joint investigation conducted by Metro Narcotics, Louisiana State Police, the Fourth District Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration led to the issuance of search and arrest warrants at the following locations:

“The Retro Shop”, 4002 Desiard St, Monroe, LA
“Spirit Station”, 3400 Desiard St, Monroe, LA
“Valero Station”, 565 Martin Luther King Dr, Monroe, LA
“AM-OR Food Mart”, 1841 Hwy 80 East, Monroe, LA
“The Tobacco Shop”, 220 Old Bastrop Road, Monroe, LA
“Delta Mini Mart”, 3400 Old Sterlington Hwy, Monroe, LA
“Herbal 4 Play”, 3217 Louisville Ave, Monroe, LA
“Texaco Smoker’s Paradise #3, 151 Well Rd, West Monroe, LA
“Conoco Tobacco Stop”, 300 Bridge Street, West Monroe, LA
“Smoker’s Paradise #7”, 1915 Hwy 165 S., Monroe, LA
“Smoker’s Paradise #1”, 5200 Cypress St, West Monroe, LA
“Tobacco Stop #5”, 1500 Bailey St, West Monroe, LA
“Cloud 9”, 117 Cotton St, West Monroe, LA

Items seized at these locations included, but were not inclusive or limited to, synthetic marijuana, bath salt items, glass pipes and smoking devices intended for use with narcotics, containers used to secret illegal drugs, money obtained from the illegal sale of these items, and plastic baggies used to package and sale illegal narcotics.

These synthetic versions of marijuana and cocaine are often times more powerful and addictive than the real thing. The reported side-effects continue to rise and include violent behavior and suicidal tendencies. The investigators working these cases hope to educate the public about the dangers of these drugs, but to also send a clear message that the sale, possession, or use of these items will not be tolerated.

“This is a public safety issue," Louisiana State Police Superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson, said. "These are dangerous chemicals that are being falsely marketed and packaged as legal items. The end game is to have these products removed from the shelves before they can hurt our children and our citizens.”

Metro Narcotics is comprised of officers from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Monroe and West Monroe Police Departments, Louisiana State Police, the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana National Guard Counter Drug Task Force.

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