'Spice' raids at two Valley convenience stores

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police Tuesday raided two convenience stores that were suspected of selling "Spice."

Officers served warrants at "Charlie's" and "J.C.'s Market," both near 27th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Police had started their investigation after they said people started getting sick from buying Spice at local stores.

Spice is a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of marijuana.

A lab test on drugs being sold at the markets found the Spice products contained dangerous chemicals that were banned by the DEA more than a year ago.

"We've got an issue," says Phoenix police Officer James Holmes. "We've got people that are getting sick here in the Valley. And how they are getting sick, we've learned, is that they are buying spice from local stores and they are starting to get sick."

Three people were taken into custody in the raids. The names of those arrested have not yet been released.

Some of the symptoms after using Spice Include foaming at the mouth, seizures and paranoia.

"This stuff can kill you," Holmes say. "Trying to get people to understand that you're putting an unknown substance, whether you smoke it or choose to ingest it, it's dangerous and you're taking a gamble."