(KMOV) – A Weldon Spring bait shop owner and 27 others face federal drug trafficking charges related to the sale and production of bath salts and other synthetic drugs.
U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan’s office has scheduled a Wednesday afternoon news conference to discuss a series of indictments issued in recent weeks but unsealed on Tuesday.
According to the indictments, many of the drugs were made and packaged in different locations around the St. Louis area. The indictment also alleges many of the chemicals were illegally imported, often with misleading labels or other documents to conceal their true identity.
Agents say the arrests targeted all levels of multiple groups accused of making and distributing the drugs. Authorities say the arrests have been a long time coming, and hope years of investigating takes a major bite out of what’s considered to be a significant synthetic drug problem.
Once manufactured, the drugs were given misleading names, like “Scouring Powder,” “Novelty Products” and “Incense.” The drugs were then sold online or in stores locally and around the country.
Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of more than $23 million in assets linked to illegal sales, including cash, bars of gold and silver and homes and commercial properties scattered across the metro area.