SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's a busy day for Chatham-Savannah Narcotics Agent Gene Harley, as he and other members of the Counter Narcotics Team deliver letters to all gas stations and convenience stores in Chatham County, asking them to pull herbal incense packets, K2, Spice, and any item marketed as bath salts from their shelves
"It's simply a letter saying the sale of synthetic marijuana and bath salts are in fact illegal," said Agent Harley to a gas station employee.
Police say the synthetic drugs are causing serious physical and mental problems for users. Take for instance, the case of Amber Fields, 20. Police say in September her boyfriend, Jason Browning, beat her with a beer mug while strung out on Spice, causing Amber's brain to swell. And then there's Anthony Norton, who police arrested a few weeks ago after they say he tried to expose himself to women and children at an Effingham County gas station. Norton admits to smoking the synthetic drug.
"We went and combated marijuana and cocaine so now companies, trying to gain profit, are trying to find loopholes through the law," said Harley.
The dangerous effects of the products are what led to the ban and now police are out warning everyone.
"We're just kind of telling everybody, 'Hey, will you pull it off instead of us being the bad guy and locking everybody up'. That's all," said Harley.
Businesses caught selling the illegal products may be charged with the sale of a controlled substance and face anywhere from five to 30 years in jail. The owner could also lose their business license.