Deputies investigate new synthetic drug hitting the street - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Deputies investigate new synthetic drug hitting the street

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

During an undercover investigation more than two years ago, FOX Carolina uncovered the sale of onetime legal synthetic drugs in the Upstate.

Drug dealers push them on the street or stash them in back rooms of gas stations or convenient stores. 

On the street it's packaged as herbal incense blends, but smoke it and investigators said the faux weed will get you dangerously high. They're illegal now, but a new blend is hitting the street. They come packed as OMG, KUSH, Magnolia Maxx and Joker.

"Just because they say DEA compliant or lab tested, we've determined here in our lab that really doesn't mean anything," Lt. Ashley Harris said.

Harris is a chemist in the forensics lab at the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. He tests substances for cannabinoids which are chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

"They're taking those green plant materials and they're spreading it and they're dissolving something they bought over the internet in large bulk in acetone - spraying it on that plant material and allowing it to dry," Harris said.

During a bust, investigators swiped packs of synthetic weed from a local store and now the items are being held as evidence in an investigation.

"You don't know what you're buying from one time to the next," Harris said.

However, in some substances investigators said dealers and street chemists are changing compounds in the drug to make new substances that are not on the DEA ban list yet.

"They add a different ring structure here and that's how it gets around the law. We feel like we're playing kind of a zone defense and they're figuring out where the holes in the zone are," Harris said.

But, it's a game investigators said they'll win.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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