Members of the District Attorney's Drug Task Force and Pennsylvania State Police executed a dozen search warrants Wednesday morning on local businesses as efforts continue to eliminate synthetic marijuana products and other drugs from the community.
One of them was at the .
The search warrants were granted following controlled buys from various retail locations in recent months by state police troopers and undercover detectives from the task force.
Agents have seen a rise in the use of synthetic marijuana, K2 and bath salts, as well as the undesirable side effects that accompany them, Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone said in a release Wednesday.
Users of certain synthetic marijuana products have reported instances of disorientation, respiratory injuries, agitation, paranoia, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and even erratic or criminal behaviors.
“Today’s work is a continuation of our mission to protect young adults and children from dangerous drugs in our community," Vittone said. "These products are of unknown origin and are imported into this country. They present a serious recognized health risk.”
He went on to stress that part of the danger of these “designer drugs” is that they have unidentified ingredients in their chemical formulations with proven adverse health effects.
“There are no standards in place to ensure safety in these products,” he said. “I compliment the hard work of the members of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Drug Task Force in reducing this threat by enforcing the ban placed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on these substances.”
He said "diligent police work" enabled officers to trace products sold in Washington County to their origin in mainland China. The investigation further lead to the identification of many individuals in different states involved in the manufacture and sale of the drugs.
These efforts ultimately culminated in Operation Log Jam.