Odessa Smoke Shop Busted for Synthetic Drugs 11/9/13
CBS 7 News
November 9, 2013
Since the synthetic drug ordinance went into effect in October in Odessa, we've gotten numerous calls about stores continuing to violate the new law and people are asking us why police aren't cracking down.
So I decided to do some investigating of my own.
"Thank you for calling Smoke Alley, how can I help you?" said the woman at the smoke shop.
"Hey, I was wondering if you guys carry Essence or Harmony still," I said.
Without pause she answered, "Yes, we do."
Despite the new law, which bans the sale of synthetic drugs, known as potpourri or bath salts, CBS 7ís investigations have found that some stores continue to offer the substances.
"You know there's so many chemicals in these packages. Just because somebody has something that says spice or whatever doesn't necessarily mean it's illegal because there could be anything in those materials. Who knows who made it or where it's coming from," says Odessa Police Department Spokesperson Officer Steve LeSueur.
Odessa Police Department says that the vague wording of the ordinance makes it difficult to pin down violators.
But officers did make their first bust.
A search warrant was executed Thursday at the Smoke Alley store located on 16th Street in Odessa.
Police say detectives recovered 140 "misbranded or mislabeled" drug containers that are in violation of city code.
The owner of the business faces a possible fine up to 280 thousand dollars. Three other people were taken into custody at that time on unrelated charges.
If you do notice other retailers in violation of this ordinance, you are encouraged to report activity to the Odessa Police Department.