Police in Indiana raided several convenience stores and arrested numerous suspects after a lengthy investigation of local stores who were illegally selling bath salts.
The raid was conducted by members of the Muncie Police Department in addition to Delaware County Sheriff's deputies and Indiana State Troopers. The coordinated operation produced eight suspects thought to have sold the illegal bath salts in their stores to anyone who paid, including minors.
Police started their undercover investigation last September following several tips from local residents. Informants explained that the store clerks would hide small plastic bags containing the substance behind the counter.
According to court papers store clerks would sell the packets of bath salts for up to $60. During the course of the investigation, undercover agents would purchase the bath salts along with police informants.
Last year the Indiana legislature made manufacturing of bath salts illegal, but companies were able to get around that technicality by simply changing the formula of their product. Earlier this year the legislature decided to close the loophole in the law that allowed companies to do this.
"I'm not surprised," Heather Lizotte told WTHR. She explained that "everybody in town pretty much knew they did."
Lizotte even stated that she had seen the clerks selling it before to kids while she was present in the store.
"I really like one of the guys who works here, but I know he sells it and I know a lot of kids have taken it from here," she said.
Local media asked Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold if he thought that the raids and subsequent arrests were enough to deter others from selling and buying this new controversial drug.
"Certainly. If you're dealing in a controlled substance, or what we believe is a controlled substance, yes, I hope it stops some of that," Arnold said.