‘A Very Dangerous Drug With a Very Friendly Name’
Pounds of alpha-PVP, a synthetic hallucinogen known on the street as "bath salts," are out of the illegal drug market in Maine thanks to good police investigation that reaches into East Asia.
Today the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) addressed reporters to answer questions about a drug bust back on January 18th of this year.
On that date, Deputies carried out a bail compliance check on Leonard Wells in Hermon, Maine. Wells had been arrested previously by the Brewer police for possession and his bail conditions stated his residence could be searched. MDEA agents were called in and together law enforcement officials seized from the home in Hermon, a property in Greenbush, and motel room in Bangor, several pounds of "bath salts," paperwork, and electronic devices which are still being analyzed.
Arrested, and charged with Aggravated Trafficking in Synthetic Hallucinogens, were 53 year old Leonard wells of Hermon, 29 year old Steven Warren of Corinth, 31 year old Elizabeth Fuentes, and 49 year old Arthur Coy, both from Huston,Texas. Court dates are pending for all.
Both Penobscot County Sherriff Glenn Ross and MDEA Commander Darrell Crandall tell us even though their investigation is on-going, they have learned these drugs have been shipped from China to Maine and drug traffickers are selling them in Maine and distributing it to other states. Commander Crandall says as part of their investigation they notified law enforcement in Texas and they intercepted a package sent from Maine that contained several more pounds of the alpha-PVP.
As Sheriff Ross points out, even if you're not a user of "bath salts" you're still being negatively impacted by the drug. A spike in home burglaries so thieves can steal to fund their habit, to paying for unfunded emergency room visits when someone has a bad experience with the drug, to a diversion of police resources, the impact of "bath salts" use is wide-spread and troubling.