Brunswick drug raids have resulted in the arrests of four people on charges related to the sale of suspected synthetic marijuana, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
The Brunswick area has seen more than 20 people sickened from the drug, believed to be “synthetic cannabinoid’’ and commonly referred to as “spice’’ or “herbal incense.’’
The investigation and raids were spearheaded by the Glynn/Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team, officials said Wednesday.
The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency told GHN that a synthetic drug linked to Brunswick illnesses and marketed as “Crazy Clown’’ has been classified as a Schedule I controlled substance that’s covered under “Chase’s Law.’’
That legislation, passed last year by the Georgia General Assembly, sought to ban all forms of synthetic marijuana. The law listed the ingredients used to make synthetic marijuana as Schedule I drugs, which means that even possessing the substance is a felony.
The law was named after Chase Corbitt Burnett, a 16-year-old honor student from Fayette County who died shortly after experimenting with synthetic pot in 2012.
Police in Brunswick said they raided Mary Jane’s Emporium on Tuesday afternoon, followed by raids on three residences of employees and the owner of the store.
In one of the residences, police said, officers discovered what appeared to be devices and equipment used for the production of the synthetic substances.
Rick Allen of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency said he believes the raids have identified the source of all the Brunswick area cases. Overall, 25 Georgians are believed to have been sickened by the synthetic drug.
The source of the chemical used in the drug is still unknown, Allen added.
Local investigators have been working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency and the GBI on the drug cases, which began last month.
“The joint effort of the members of the drug unit, police departments, and the fire departments was excellent,” said Matt Doering, chief of the Glynn County police. “It speaks very highly of the dedication of all those involved to see the cooperative effort.”
Other areas of the country have also seen recent illnesses related to a powerful form of synthetic marijuana.
Colorado’s health department has launched a probe into a recent spate of illnesses from synthetic marijuana products, and is trying to determine whether three recent deaths in the state are connected to them.
State officials there said they were teaming with local health agencies, hospitals and the CDC on the investigation, after reports of about 75 recent illnesses.