10 ARRESTED IN SMOKE SHOP RAIDS
A month-long investigation led to the arrest of 10 people to include a store owner accused of selling “bath salts” at five businesses near Friendswood. The undercover operation also resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of dollars of suspected contraband and $28,100 in cash.
Bath salts, a synthetic drug banned by the State law, have been blamed for erratic behavior and deaths nationwide. One man found shouting in the streets of Galveston last week died after struggling with officers and a man from Manvel also died two weeks ago after acting violently and struggling with deputies. Friendswood police have experienced several incidents involving “bath salts” in the last three months where individuals had to be restrained and transported to medical facilities.
Those arrested in Thursday’s raid were charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (penalty group 2), which is the same penalty for cocaine possession. The arrestees were booked into the Friendswood City Jail on Thursday afternoon and all had been released on bond by Friday morning.
Police officers with the Friendswood Police Department, the Houston Police Department, and Webster Police Department participated in the simultaneous raids of three smoke shops in Houston, one in Webster and one in unincorporated Harris County. All locations are near the Friendswood city limits. Friendswood Police had received information from field contacts over the last several months that illegal products were being sold from these locations.
Police officials stated that the arrests and the seizures of contraband/cash are intended to disrupt the shell game being played in smoke shops that have illegal substances being sold in deceptive packaging, where it appears to be legal.
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