Bryan Cohen Jul. 5, 2013, 6:26pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced settlements Tuesday with the owners of four Highland County businesses that allegedly sold synthetic drugs.

The owners of the Greenfield-based North End Mini Mart, the Hillsboro-based East Main Mini Mart, the Greenfield-based West End Sunoco and the Hillsboro-based Rocky Road Mini Mart allegedly violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices. Under the terms of the agreements, the business owners must pay fines totaling $10,000, which will be used to prevent and inquire into the use of synthetic drugs.

"The defendants knew exactly what they were selling, even though they tried to pass the synthetic drugs off as legal products," DeWine said. "We are happy that we can put the settlement funds to good use in an effort to stop the sale and abuse of these hazardous drugs."

The Highland County Sheriff's Office alleged that synthetic drugs were being sold as incense at the four stores. The products sold were allegedly coated with synthetic compounds that mimic the physiological and psychoactive effects of marijuana when the drugs are consumed.

Each of the business owners were ordered to pay $2,500 each to DeWine's office and were prohibited from selling potpourri, incense and other novelty products.

The funds from the settlements will be used for education about the danger and use of synthetic drugs and for inquiries into and enforcement for violations related to the production, distribution and possession of synthetic drugs.

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