TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo County's Drug Task Force (VCDTF) team informed News 10 that, in the last four to five months, they've learned how problematic synthetic drugs are becoming.
Those who use the drugs knew exactly where to get them, until now.
Tuesday afternoon, News 10's Gina Glaros and Photojournalist Nick Nebesny followed VC Drug Task Force officers on their first large-scale drug raid for synthetic marijuana.
"It's rapidly becoming a very, very strong issue. We've had several people in the ER locally that have had adverse medical reactions to the products because nobody knows actually what's in them," VCDTF Officer Steve Lockard said.
Officers visited the Super Station off of 13th and Poplar Streets, and Sun Mart off of 7th and Swan Streets where they confiscated synthetic marijuana and paraphernalia; however, their biggest raid came from J-Spot in north Terre Haute.
"It's widely known in this community that if you need to get synthetic drugs, [J-Spot] is the place you go," Officer Lockard said.
They found tens of thousands of dollars worth of synthetic marijuana and paraphernalia Tuesday.
It's unknown as to what chemicals are in the synthetics, so it's unknown whether the synthetics are illegal; however, selling the product with paraphernalia such as pipes is illegal.
The stores were closed during the investigation, and many customers waited and watched, or left, then came back.
"Surely, any product that they want that was legal or not, synthetic drugs could have been purchased across the street; [Observers] decided to wait until we left and came back. I'm assuming [they were hopeful] to purchase these synthetic drugs," he said.
They hope Tuesday's dent makes a difference.
"It's just horrible that anybody can just walk into a gas station and buy a snickers bar, and right next to it is a product they may have never used, or wanted to try, until it's right there in their face. So our goal is to get it out of people's faces."
However, they know there is more to overcome.
Police said it'll take them 12 hours or more just to unload items from J-Spot.
Officers will send the drugs to the lab to be tested for illegal substances.
They will have retailers sign a written agreement to stop selling the products.
If they continue, they'll be further prosecuted.
News 10 will continue to cover the story and bring you the latest details as they become available.
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