Tuesday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi issued an emergency order deeming more chemicals to be a significant threat to health and public safety within the State of Florida, regarding “Spice”.
By the delegation of authority granted under Chapter 893.035(7)(a), Florida Statute, Attorney General Bondi placed these chemicals as emergency Schedule I drugs in which the purchase, possession, sale, and/or distribution can result in a felony arrest.
Synthetic drugs can be comprised of different unregulated chemical substances and are being sold under a variety of names or brands.
Both the law enforcement community and medical professionals indicate that these substances are becoming increasingly popular due to the perception that they pose a seemingly safer alternative to illegal methods of getting “high” and can easily be obtained.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Wendell Hall stressed that his office will continue to direct the Narcotics Division to aggressively go after any person or establishment that continues to possess or sell “Spice” or “Bath Salts”.
“We will continue to arrest those responsible for this type of activity. As with all illegal narcotics, they have no place in this county," Hall said. We will continue to do our very best in shutting down any establishment that disregards the laws that are in place to keep our community safe and drug free.”
The Sheriff’s Office will be handing out letters to local establishments that continue to sell “Spice” informing them of the added illegal components.
Anyone found to be selling products containing these components will be arrested and prosecuted.
Sheriff Hall also states that undercover purchases will continue to take place, and will continue until the activity stops.
Back in August, Sheriff Hall's office served warrants at Ike's Reddy Mart on Highway 87 north of Milton, the Texaco Station at the corner of Highway 98 and County Road 399 in Midway and at the Texaco Station at the corner of Highway 98 and Oriole Beach Road in Gulf Breeze.
According to Sgt. Scott Haines, with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, narcotics officers discovered somewhere between 800 to 1,000 containers of Spice at the Reddy Mart in Milton.
The estimated street value of the Spice confiscated Friday at the Reddy Mart was approximately $10,000.
Haines indicated officers discovered sales receipts for the convenience store on Aug. 8, which indicated the store sold $400 in gasoline that day and $3,000 in Spice sales.
"When officers served the warrant they found Spice in containers priced from $9 to $80," said Haines.
The warrants were part of an ongoing effort by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office to crack down on the often changing yet illegal substance.
"We have been responding to citizen complaints along with intelligence we have compiled and made purchases at various stores around the county," Haines said. "We sent the samples we obtained to the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) to test what we bought.
"The warrants were the result of positive tests for the illegal compounds in the state of Florida."
Retailers and those in possession of psychoactive synthetic substances who require assistance in their lawful disposal are asked to contact their local law enforcement agencies.
Failure to comply with this emergency order can result in a felony arrest as punishable under 775.082, F.S.S.