Cops Bust Sales of Synthetic Pot At Jersey Shore [AUDIO]
There were boardwalk raids in Cape May County Wednesday as New Jersey law enforcement officials continue to crack down on the sale of synthetic marijuana at shops up and down the shore.
Six shops along the boardwalk in Wildwood and one in nearby Rio Grande were busted for selling the substance, a dangerous mix of toxic chemicals, known as K2 and Spice.
New Jersey is the fourth state to comprehensively ban all variants of synthetic marijuana. The chemicals are now classified as Controlled Dangerous Substances, subject to the same level of control as cocaine or heroin. Distribution, sale or possession is a third-degree crime, subject to a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a three- to five-year term.
“This is a reminder of how serious we are about this. If we find people selling this drug that we banned, they will be charged criminally” said Jeff Chiesa, State Attorney General.
Chiesa says officials seized nearly 1,600 packets of synthetic pot valued at $160,000 and $121,000 in cash, along with numerous items deemed to be drug paraphernalia, and 11 firearms.
"We will take aggressive action in all instances where people continue to ignore our ban on these dangerous substances," Attorney General Chiesa said.
"The arrests are the result of a joint undercover investigation, conducted in June by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau in partnership with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. Each of the suspects allegedly sold packets of synthetic marijuana or other toxic chemicals, with labels including “K2,” “Rehab,” and “Jersey Shore,” to undercover investigators.
“Synthetic marijuana is associated with alarming symptoms including seizures, panic attacks and hallucinations, leading some users to commit suicide or suffer fatal injuries,” Eric T. Kanefsky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said. “Having banned these drugs, we are now working closely with law enforcement to stop disreputable retailers from selling them in New Jersey.”
Chiesa said they will continue to keep an eye on shore businesses throughout the summer.
“These stores are designed to attract kids, some as young as 14 and 15, with all sorts of interesting souvenirs, but what we can’t have is things that can hurt children.”