NEW: Investigators Raid County Convenience Store

Synthetic Drugs Seized

Posted: March 21, 2014

Daily News-Record

DALE ENTERPRISE - Investigators with the RUSH Drug Task Force raided a Dale Enterprise convenience store Thursday afternoon, seizing roughly 300 grams of synthetic marijuana.

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said an ongoing drug investigation lead them to the store.

Police say they seized the synthetic drugs K2 and Spice from 33 Express Market, located at 3229 Rawley Pike.

This is the first store to be raided for selling drugs in almost two years.

“It just fluctuates,” said Hutcheson. “Sometimes you go a while before you see it again. It comes in cycles.”

He said investigators also seized about $2,000 and counterfeit hats, handbags and shoes.

No arrests have been made but charges are pending, he said.

In 2011, usage of synthetic drugs, such as marijuana and bath salts - a synthetic drug that produces a high similar to amphetamines or, in some cases, a hallucinogenic - began to rise in the Shenandoah Valley.

As the drug usage increased, the task force - made up of officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police - raided several businesses in attempt to crack down on the drug sales.

While police focused more on bath salts because it was more deadly, investigators also seized synthetic marijuana from several businesses in 2012.

In March 2012, the task force raided the Pure gas station located at the corner of North Main and Gay streets in downtown Harrisonburg. Police seized synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

Later that month, the task force raided the Exxon gas station and convenience store, located at the northeast intersection of University Boulevard and Reservoir Street in Harrisonburg. Again, police seized synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

On April 30, 2012, a Timberville man died after he overdosed on bath salts. That sparked one of two raids in May at Pamela’s Secrets at 3051 S. Main St. in Harrisonburg. This was the largest bust. Police seized 507 grams of suspected bath salts, 1,072 grams of synthetic marijuana and $84,093 in cash. A second search about month later yielded more drugs.

On Nov. 30, the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office and the task force executed a search warrant at B&L Discount House, 154 S. Commerce St., in Woodstock, seizing bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com



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