Illegal Bath Salt Makers Try to Get Around Law

Reno, Nev. - There are new developments in the fight against the recently-outlawed designer drugs called bath salts, spice, and plant food.

Manufacturers are changing the chemical composition of the drug to try to avoid charges.

"They're pretty quick. As soon as we control them, they seem to come up with a new substance," said Michael Bakios, the DEA Resident Agent in Charge.

Bakios is investigating new ways drug manufacturers are trying to get around the new law banning drugs like bath salts and spices.

"What these foreign manufacturers have done, is they've restructured the way they manufacture the product," said Bakios. "And now, the product they're selling to retailers is not one of the ones that's currently controlled by us."

But just because the new drugs don't contain the newly-banned chemicals, doesn't mean sellers of these products won't get busted.

"If a manufacturer makes a product that has similar characteristics as the controlled substance, has the same effect on the body, and is for human consumption, we can still prosecute them," said Bakios.

The DEA has already taken one alleged seller into custody for these new charges, called analog provisions of the law. Now, they'll work to prove the man they arrested on March 15, Asowadur Kahn, knew what he was allegedly selling was intended for human consumption.

Many times, the packaging says it isn't, but Bakios says that's all for show, and won't protect sellers from the law.

"They know well what the kids are really using it for," said Bakios.

The DEA is offering sellers in our area an out. Come clean now, and you won't face charges.

Bakios says sellers can call the DEA at (775) 327 - 8900, and they'll come pick up and dispose of the drugs. If they don't call, and continue to sell, they can expect to be investigated and charged.

The DEA is also calling on the public to report any store they see selling the drugs by calling the same phone number.

Most of these illegal drugs are made in China or India, and then smuggled into our country.

A bill before Congress right now could outlaw forty more of the chemicals used to produce these drugs.

DEA agents in the Reno area say they're already planning more arrests.

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