Agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration raided Tebb’s Head Shop, at 105 N. Main St. in Herkimer, on Wednesday as part of a larger raid across the country.
A spokesperson with the DEA office in New York City said a press conference conducted by the agency’s Virginia headquarters would take place online Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
The raid was part of Operation Log-Jam, the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as incense, bath salts or plant food, a media advisory from the DEA stated.
The operation took place in nearly 100 American cities, the advisory stated.
State police Troop D Public Information Officer Jack Keller said during a telephone interview his agency only assisted the DEA in the investigation and provided no further information.
Several media outlets reported drug raids in their coverage area Wednesday afternoon.
In Herkimer, two state police vehicles were parked outside the shop around noontime and agents were seen investigating inside the shop.
Gatehouse News Service reported Tebb’s Head Shop, at 252 Genesee St. in Utica, was raided sometime prior to 2 p.m. Wednesday. A photographer who went to the store found it closed.
Syracuse media reported raids were conducted throughout Central New York and the nation after the recent passage of a federal law banning the ingredients found in some synthetic drugs.
Between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., other media outlets around the country began reporting on DEA raids in their own areas -- including towns and cities elsewhere in New York and in Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and New Hampshire -- according to Google News. Locally, Syracuse media reported many of the Central New York stores targeted were from the Tebb’s Smokehouse chain.
Local law enforcement agencies and elected officials have focused on outlawing the possession and sale of bath salts since there has been a sharp increase in reported incidents of those high on the drug. Side effects from the drug include hallucinations, paranoia and violent behavior.
Herkimer village police arrested a Tebb’s Head Shop employee in June under a local law for possession of a synthetic substance. Police also seized hundreds of packages of a product being sold as “glass cleaner” from the store.
There has been no information on whether others were arrested on Wednesday due to the raid.
Other municipalities that are also working on or have already passed their own bath salts law include Ilion, Mohawk, Frankfort and Dolgeville.
Contributing: GateHouse News Service