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Bath Salts” and “Spice” Lead to Nation-wide Crackdown and Arrests

“Some people mistakenly think that because a drug is synthetic or imitation, that it is legal.”

Law enforcement officials issued 17 search warrants in Maricopa County, as part of a nationwide operation targeting simulated illegal drugs including Cocaine, Meth, Marijuana and synthetic chemicals. The effects of such sales are being called an “epidemic” of the designer drug market.

Raids were conducted targeting manufactures, distributors, retailers, and individuals involved in sales of simulated drugs. Law enforcement in Arizona seized over $3 million in assets; over 3,000 pounds of synthetic Marijuana products and chemicals, and over 700 pounds of bath salts, including related substances, firearms and vehicles used in the illegal operations.

Police warn about the dangerous effects of these types of drugs, which can lead to serious illnesses, and even fatalities. The manufacturers of these drugs have temporarily managed to avoid bans and legislative violations by changing one or more chemicals in the drugs. The “bath salts” have been blamed for the spike in Emergency Room visits, hospitalizations, and serious illnesses.

In the Phoenix East Valley cities in recent weeks, numerous people were arrested for disorderly conduct, drug impairment charges, and Drug DUI charges with auto accidents.

Arizona Law Regarding Synthetic Drugs

Many users mistakenly think that because the drugs are synthetic that makes them legal. To the contrary, many have been arrested for manufacturing, sale, and use of these simulated drug under the authority of Arizona Drug Laws A.R.S § 13 – 3451 through A.R.S. § 13- 3461.

These drug offenses may result in result in serious Misdemeanor charges, or Felony charges depending on the circumstances. Class 1 misdemeanors carry Jail terms; and Felony charges will expose a person to prison sentencing. Other penalties may include Suspension of driver’s license in the case of DUI or Drug DUI charges; Drug abuse screening and counseling, probation, fines, fees, and assessment costs.

Criminal Defense for Synthetic Drug Offenses

If you were arrested for possession of synthetic drugs in Maricopa County or Drug DUI, you should consult and criminal defense attorney to discuss your charges, and defense options. If retained, they will provide a defense, make sure your constitutional rights are protected; and make every effort to avoid jail or prison terms or other obtain other reduced charges or sentencing.

If you must appear in court prior to obtaining an attorney, be sure you invoke your right to retain legal representation by pleading “Not Guilty” during your Arraignment. If you are currently represented, your counsel will submit the plea on your behalf, along with notice of representation, rights and defenses to the court. This will increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case.

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