(SALEM) - Police served a search warrant at the Marathon station on Mulberry Street around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
During their search, officers found an excess of $5,000 in cash and around 216 packets - $8,600 worth - of Darkness brand "spice," a synthetic marijuana sold for about $40 a packet in a safe at the gas station.
Kate Wehlan of the Leader-Democrat reports that at around the same time, another warrant was served at a house in Campbellsburg, where more spice, this time the brand Mad Hatter, was found.
Information has been passed on to the prosecutor's office. The case is still under investigation.
Salem Police Chief Troy Merry says the city police and sheriff's departments have received as many as 10 to 20 complaints a week for the past year about the owners of the business selling illegal substances.
Merry says it was a multi-agency operation, with state police, postal inspectors, city police and sheriff's department all part of the investigation.
Members of the drug task force called the drug-selling operation "a back-room deal."
About a month ago, police seized money from a post office box believed to be linked to the sale of spice from the gas station. The police still plan to serve two more search warrants in the county for other sources of the drug.
"'Spice' refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as 'safe,' legal alternatives to that drug," said an article on DrugAbuse.gov. "Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others - and labeled "not for human consumption" - these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects ... the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated the five active chemicals most frequently found in Spice as Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess them."
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