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$13,000 in synthetic drugs seized

Ashland shop
Feb. 15, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

ASHLAND — Responding to the concerns of parents, school officials and juvenile court officials, the Ashland Police Department confiscated about $30,000 worth of materials, plus $3,500 in cash, a 9 mm handgun with a 19-round chamber and an estimated $13,000 worth of what authorities believe are illegal synthetic drugs from a novelties shop.

"Parents and school personnel, among others, were telling us students were buying the synthetic drugs and getting sick or getting high," said Lt. Darren Wilson of the Ashland Police Department.

Police served a search warrant earlier this week at the Dark Wing novelties shop at 514 29th St., said Maj. Todd Kelley of the Ashland Police Department. A number of materials confiscated Wednesday were on display Friday at the Ashland Police Department.

No arrests have been made in the case.

However, Boyd County Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman signed an order Thursday prohibiting the withdrawal of funds of the shop owner pending further orders of the court.

Possession of synthetic drugs is a class B misdemeanor that carries a 90-day jail sentence and $250 fine, or both, upon conviction, Wilson said Friday. Trafficking in synthetic drugs is a class A misdemeanor carrying a maximum jail term of up to a year and a $500 fine, or both, he said.

"The price of some of this stuff is ridiculous," Police Chief Rob Ratliff said. Some of the synthetic drugs sell for up to $180 for a small bag, he said.

Kentucky legislators passed a law last year prohibiting the sale of synthetic drugs, Wilson said.

Law enforcement has had a problem keeping up with the synthetic drugs since suppliers frequently change the ingredients or materials in an effort to stay a step ahead of the law, Wilson said.

Other materials confiscated included bongs, scales and paper in which the drugs are rolled and then smoked, Ratliff said.

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