PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Authorities in Northern Arizona busted five businesses they say were illegally selling "bath salts."
Investigators executed search warrants Friday on the X-Hale Smoke Shop and Mario's Mexican Market located in Prescott Valley and Quick Stop, C-Stop and Mike’s Mini Mart in Prescott.
Investigators seized approximately 1,157 packages of bath salt-related products and 3,234 packages of Spice or related products with an estimated value of $130,000. They also seized three handguns during the searches.
Paula Farley-Hussein, 42, and Corrina Lynn Worner, 25, were each booked for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of a firearm during a drug offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Nail Ayoub, 47, was booked for two counts of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, two counts of possession of dangerous drugs and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia
Jett Montana Quezado, 25, was booked for three counts of aggravated DUI (drugs). He is further facing charges of two counts unlawful use of food stamps and two counts computer tampering.
Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed an emergency ban on the synthetic drugs, which doctors say have an effect similar to methamphetamines.
The businesses sold the bath salt products when it was not yet illegal under state law, according to Sgt. Brandon Bonney, Prescott Valley Police Department spokesman.
"Since the legislation has passed making certain ingredients in the product illegal, they have continued to sell the product illegally and in some cases literally out of the back door," he said.
The products were being sold in a manner that led investigators to believe the merchants were aware it was now illegal, Bonney said. In most cases the product was not in view and was sold to people in a private manner to conceal the transaction.
The investigation is ongoing.
Synthetic drugs have lead to individuals suffering from paranoia, hallucinations. lethal overdoses and suicide. While the substances are now illegal by state law, they have been banned federally for several months.