Indiana police raided six convenience stores this morning after a months-long investigation into the trafficking of bath salts, a designer drug that's been ruled illegal -- twice -- in the state.
The raids, which occurred at about 9 a.m., resulted in several arrests in Muncie as cops crack down on a new state ban on the drug, The Star Press reported.
Police say they've fielded numerous calls recently from the public about store owners selling bath salts, in some cases to adolescents. An investigation into one store in Yorktown allegedly found that a local high schooler had taken the drug, which has chemical effects similar to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. The teen behaved "erratically" on campus, cops told the paper.
The paper also reported several other recent arrests involving bath salts, which may have led to the raids:
- A Muncie man who had reportedly ingested bath salts on March 18 held a knife to his roommate’s throat and demanded that she “get out of his house,” police reported.
- A local mother arrested March 7 as she walked with her children in the 200 block of East Gilbert was reportedly so impacted by her recent ingestion of bath salts that she was unable to provide accurate information concerning her youngsters’ names and dates of birth.
The state banned the sale of bath salts in July 2011, but needed to institute additional legislation this year after manufacturers changed the chemicals to make the synthetic drug technically legal to sell, WIBC reported in March.
The new ban includes provisions to keep the drugs out of stores regardless of their specific formula.
It's not the first time Indiana police have made arrests in the sale of the easily accesible chemicals.
Late last year, two southern Indiana businesses, including the Happy Timez Smoke Shop, allegedly sold bath salts under the name "Zoom 2," according to KFVS.
Bath salts have reportedly played a role in several recent violent attacks, most notably the case out of Miami in which a man was shot to death by police as he chewed more than 75 percent of a homeless man's face off.