Metro East Store Owners Charged For Selling Synthetic Drugs

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SWANSEA, IL (KPLR) - Two Metro-East convenience stores are the latest to face charges in an ongoing effort to stop the sale of synthetic or look alike drugs.  The men charged Friday own two of 13 Metro-East stores raided in April by law enforcement from St. Clair County, looking for drugs like K-2 and others often marketed as bath salts.

The stores facing these latest charges are: Dupo Fuel Mart on Falling Springs Road in Dupo,  and Max's One-Stop on North 17th Street in Swansea.    The charges filed against the stores and their owners include both misdemeanors and felonies, because of a fairly new Illinois law allowing prosecutors to get tougher with stores selling synthetic or look alike drugs.

Getting tough is what St. Clair County State`s Attorney Brendan Kelly says he's doing because these items are more dangerous than some people think.

 "These drugs are very, very unsafe. Just because they have this packaging that makes them look cute like candy or they may sell them as something like bath salts or incense doesn't mean these things aren`t dangerous. It is very very misleading and some of the charges that are issued today are related to the mislabeling or mis-branding of these substances," Kelly said.

Meanwhile, six other stores found selling smaller amounts of less threatening types of bath salts have managed to avoid prosecution by signing what's called the synthetic drug community protection agreement, which pledges them never to sell synthetic or anything meant to look like them.

FOX 2 spoke with both store owners charged Friday but neither had any comment.