Idaho among states involved in nationwide "spice" bust

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

Idaho among states involved in nationwide "spice" bust

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 11:18 AM

BOISE -- A federal grand jury has indicted five people on charges related to synthetic drugs such as "spice" after searches at several locations in the Magic Valley and in the Portland area.

Four of the defendants are from Twin Falls, while another man is from Tigard, Oregon. They're charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue.

Those arrested include: Allen W. Nagel, 44, of Twin Falls; Stephanie D. Nagel, 38, of Twin Falls; Gary E. Nagel, 45, of Twin Falls; Josh Cserepes, 26, of Twin Falls; and Joshua P. Becker, 32, of Tigard, Oregon.

Becker was arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Oregon. He will be extradited to Idaho for an appearance in federal court in Pocatello on August 1. The four Twin Falls defendants will be arraigned in federal court in Pocatello Friday morning.

If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Those arrests come two months after a sting that involved 13 so-called "head shops" in the Treasure Valley.

In that case, 16 people are facing federal drug paraphernalia charges.

Federal, state and local law enforcement are targeting synthetic drugs in a nationwide effort called "Operation Log Jam."  It targeted every level of the synthetic drug industry, including retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers, in more than 80 U.S. cities.

It focuses on the production and sale of drugs often marketed as "bath salts," "spice," incense or plant food - which became illegal last year, under state and federal laws.
      
"This week's law enforcement actions should send a strong message that if you're selling spice under any name or packaging you need to stop," said US Attorney Wendy J. Olson.

"These deadly products were designed for and targeted at our youth," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes.  "This sweeping coast to coast enforcement action is a warning that DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to seek out those who endanger our communities."

Search warrants were executed at the following Magic Valley locations:

• All State Auto Sales, 2135 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho
• All State Auto Sales, 284 Washington Street North, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Boo Boo’s Skate Shop, 143 4th Avenue West, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Churchman’s Jewelry, 153 Main Avenue West, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Dark Side Glass Blowers, 2487 Kimberly Rd., Suite H, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Fat Ratt Tattoo & Body Piercing, 1440 Blue Lakes Blvd.. North, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Smoke N’ Head, 287 Washington Street North, Twin Falls, Idaho
• Ta Ta’s, 221 South Lincoln Suite C, Jerome, Idaho
• 175 Bellevue Court, Twin Falls, Idaho
• 482 Cypress Way, Twin Falls, Idaho
• 3295 Longbow, Twin Falls, Idaho

Search warrants were also executed at:

• A & J Distribution, 15757 Southwest 74th Ave, #590, Tigard, Oregon
• 15012 South West Summerview Dr., Tigard, Oregon
• A & J Distribution, 1321 North East 76th Ave. Suite A, Vancouver, Washington

Spice is a synthetic form of cannabis, which is a psychoactive herbal and chemical product that, when consumed, mimics the effects of cannabis.

The Idaho Legislature outlawed the the sale of spice last year.

US District Attorney for Idaho, Wendy J. Olson, said the operation was a win.

"My reaction was great job by law enforcement. There are a lot of committed federal, state, and local law enforcement officers out there who put in a lot of time and effort to make a coordinated approach to addressing this problem and they were successful," said Olson.

She said it is particularly important to head off this trend because it is strongly marketed toward kids.

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