Law Enforcement Raids Convenience Store
CLERK ARRESTED, PRODUCTS CONFISCATED AT ANDERSON STORE
Thursday, May 3, 2012
McDONALD COUNTY An Anderson convenience store clerk was arrested and a large quantity of merchandise was confi scated following a raid early Tuesday afternoon by the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force, McDonald County Sheri◊’s Department and Anderson Police Department.
McDonald County Sheri◊Robert Evenson said o◊cers served a search warrant at Mr. C’s convenience store on Highway 59 at about 1:30 p.m. Evenson said the search warrant was obtained after an undercover o◊cer made a purchase at the store.
“It was all related to the sale of synthetic marijuana,” Evenson said. “A large quantity of synthetic marijuana was seized along with pipes, bongs and other drug paraphernalia.”
Store clerk Janet S. Hutchison, 46, of Anderson was arrested and booked into the McDonald County Jail before being released on her own recognizance. Formal charges had not been filed as of Wednesday.
“When the agent purchased the stu◊, he received instructions from the clerk on how to use it,” Evenson said.
Synthetic marijuana is being marketed as “herbal incense,” with the notation “Not For Human Consumption” marked on the package.
Authorities have said herbal incense, along with some products marketed as bath salts and foot powders, have been treated with chemicals to produce a high that is stronger than from marijuana.
Dangers from the product include vomiting, difficulty in breathing, increased pulse rates, hallucinations, seizures, psychotic episodes, panic attacks and heart palpitations which have led to numerous deaths across the United States.
Prior to the raid at the Anderson store, various incarnations of synthetic cannabis were being sold at several convenience and liquor stores throughout McDonald County. Any possible future law enforcement action against those locations has not yet been determined by McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Pierce.
Pierce, who began a murder trial Monday, said he would need to examine all the evidence collected before he made a determination about future actions.
The latest spike in synthetic marijuana sale and use comes after the Missouri legislature banned K2 several years ago. K2 was the first generation ofsynthetic marijuana, but once it was banned, makers simply changed one ingredient or another to make its replacement legal.
“The producers of this stuff have a replacement ready now if the legislature would ban what is being sold,” Evenson said.
News, Pages 1 on 05/03/2012