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30 Arrested-6 From Mitchell-for Synthetic Drugs PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Friday, 28 June 2013 05:39

Three  separate  criminal  indictments  and  a  criminal  complaint charging 30 men and women with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute synthetic drugs  and related charges  have been  unsealed in U.S. District  Court,  announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The  indictments  and  criminal  complaint  are  the  result  of  joint  local,  state  and  federal investigations  into  head shops  operating in  Mecklenburg,  Buncombe, Henderson,  Transylvania and  Mitchell  Counties.   According  to  filed  court  documents  and  court  proceedings,  the  head shops  sold  synthetic  drugs,  such  as  synthetic  marijuana,  commonly  referred  to  as  “K2”  or “Spice” and/or synthetic cathinones, commonly referred to as “Bath Salts.” The  federal  indictments  and  the  criminal  complaint  remained  sealed  until  the  named defendants  were arrested by law enforcement over a two-day period. Pandora’s Dreams Smoke Shop in Mitchell county led to a criminal indictment that charged seven defendants with  conspiracy to distribute and  to  possess  with  intent  to  distribute  a  quantity  of  a  mixture  and  substance  containing  a detectable amount of synthetic drugs and related charges.  The  release said Bath  Salts  were  sold  at  Pandora’s  Dreams  head  shop  in  Spruce  Pine,  under  brand names such as  “White Water Rapids”, “Snowman”, “Super Glass Cleaner”, “Anti Monkey Butt Powder”, “Dragon”, and “Bushman’s Repellant.”  The named defendants are:
  Kelly Higgins, age 24, of Burnsville, N.C.
  John Newberry, age 40, of Spruce Pine, N.C.
  Albert Tomes, age 41, of Bakersville, N.C.
  Tina Tomes, age 43, of Bakersville.
  Kevin Vickers, age 22, of Bakersville.
  Lori Watts, age 46, of Spruce Pine.
  Matt Davis, age 32, of Charlotte.
Newberry, Watts, Albert Tomes and Tina Tomes are also charged with selling or offering to  sell  drug  paraphernalia,  such  as  glass  pipes,  intended  for  use  in  inhaling  a  controlled substance. Matt Davis and Tina Tomes are also charged with money laundering.  The indictment includes a notice of forfeiture, which gives notice that the defendants must forfeit to the United States all of the property, currency and monetary instruments involved in the offenses charged in the indictment, and all property, currency and monetary instruments which are proceeds of such offenses, including  over $45,000 in cash, a vehicle,  and a firearm seized during the course of the investigation. Mitchell  County Sheriff Donald Street said, “Our local head shop was creating a real nightmare for our county and  was destroying many people’s lives along the way.”

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