clockwise top left: Nail Ayoub, Paula Farley-Hussein, Corrina Worner, Jett Quezado
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -
Four people were arrested after search warrants were served Friday on two Prescott Valley businesses and three Prescott stores that were selling bath salts.
Criminal charges are pending against other people, investigators said.
The businesses sold the bath salt products when it was not yet illegal under state law, investigators said.
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 - said Sgt. Brandon Bonney of the Prescott Valley Police Department.
Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking executed the warrants on the following businesses:
X-Hale Smoke Shop, in the 8100 block of Spouse in Prescott Valley.
Mario's Mexican Market, in the 8100 block of Spouse in Prescott Valley.
Quick Stop, in the 400 block of S. Montezuma in Prescott.
C-Stop, in the 300 block of Grove in Prescott.
Mike's Mini Mart, in the 900 block of E. Gurley in Prescott.
Investigators located bath salt or glass cleaner products at all of the five locations, Bonney said. They seized about 1,157 packages of bath salt-related products and 3,234 packages of Spice or related products. The products are worth about $130,000, authorities said.
In addition, investigators seized three handguns and synthetic drugs during the searches.
While the substances are now illegal by state law, they have been banned federally for several months. 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.
Bath salts are now considered a dangerous drug and possession of it is a class 4 felony, while sales of dangerous drugs is a class 2 felony.
The C-Stop store personnel face additional charges for fraud schemes for allowing customers to purchase bath salts under the food stamp program.
Those arrested were:
Paula Farley-Hussein, 42, booked on charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of a firearm during a drug offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Corrina Lynn Worner, 25, booked on charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of a firearm during a drug offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Nail Ayoub, 47, booked on 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, booked on three counts of aggravated DUI (drugs). He is facing further charges of two counts unlawful use of food stamps and two counts computer tampering.
The investigators said they will be processing evidence and continuing with interviews in the case.
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Special Crimes Unit, Prescott Valley Police, Prescott Police, DEA Task Force, Arizona Liquor Control, Arizona Department of Economic Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as the Yavapai County Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.
Copyright 2012 KPHO(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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