(Springfield, IL) – March 27, 2012. Law enforcement and investigators from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office busted a major Central Illinois synthetic drug supplier on Friday, grabbing $110,000 worth of illegal synthetic drugs, like fake pot or “bath salts”, Madigan’s office announced yesterday.
An informant’s tip led Madigan’s investigators, Jerseyville Police, the Jersey County Sheriff’s Department and the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force to the 131 year-old William F. Brockman Wholesale Tobacco & Candy company in Jerseyville, snagging 1,200 packages of synthetic drugs with a street value of $42,000.
Investigators also snared an additional 1,500 packages whose street value hovered at $68,000, from the home of a Brockman Wholesale employee. The wholesaler is suspected of supplying synthetic drugs, like fake pot and fake cocaine, to retailers from Benton to Decatur.
“We know this is not the end to these dangerous drugs, but no doubt this action will put a dent in the fight we have waged in Jersey County for a couple of years now,” Sheriff Mark Kallal said.
“Synthetic drug usage is growing which represents a very dangerous threat to the young people of our area,” said Jerseyville Police Chief Brad Blackorby. “We are eager to get them off the street and appreciate the combined efforts of Attorney General Madigan and our agencies.”
In the course of the operation, investigators from the Attorney General’s office and the Montgomery County Sheriff also obtained illegal synthetic drug products from two Litchfield retail locations:
- Clark gas station, 101 E. Union, 81 packages relinquished, valued at $2,563.19
- Corner Liquors, 126 W. Ryder, 96 packages relinquished, valued at $1.581.77
Synthetic drug use, which includes fake pot, fake cocaine, “bath salts”, is soaring in Illinois and across the country.
In alone Litchfield, at least two known deaths related to synthetic drug use have occurred in just the last few months.
Nationwide, calls to poison control centers have zoomed. In 2010, poison control centers received 2,915 calls related to synthetic marijuana use. By 2011, 6,890 calls have poured in about synthetic marijuana.
Bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or ecstasy, have exploded. In 2010, poison centers received 303 calls. A year later, 6,072 similar calls jammed their lines.