MARION, IL (KFVS) - A new state law and city ordinance banning synthetic drugs puts two business owners behind bars.
According to southern Illinois Enforcement Group (SIEG) director David Fitts, undercover agents went into the Book Cellar store at 701 W. Belcher Street in Marion and were able to purchase bath salts.
Agents returned to the store Monday. At that time, there were no packets of bath salts for sale, but according to Fitts, the owner of the store told the undercover agent that a substance called "cosmic blast jewelry cleaner" would have the same effect.
Agents also found two packets of K-2 for sale which is a form of synthetic marijuana that is illegal in the state of Illinois.
Officers also found 47 packets of Cosmic Blast Jewelry Cleaner - which Fitts says is a substitute for "bath salts".
Bath salts were banned by city ordinance in Marion earlier this month. Monday's Book Cellar bust is the first bath salt bust in the city of Marion since the ordinance went into effect.
Investigators also confiscated hundreds of items of drug paraphernalia that officers say are commonly used in smoking pot, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Fitts says these new designer drugs sold on store shelves are becoming more worrisome than those on the street.
"Quite frankly, this concerns me more than any other drug we're seeing right now," said Fitts. "We make something illegal and the manufacturer changes it and then it takes us a while to figure out what that is."
Owners of the Book Cellar: 53-year-old Charles Fox and 47-year-old Brian Copher both of Goreville were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of synthetic cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and face misdemeanor charges connected with the bath salt city ordinance violation.