CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Tuesday that an Operation Smoked Out undercover bust in Grundy County resulted in the relinquishment of 348 packages of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
The products obtained have a street value of $5,945. Synthetic drug abuse has been on the rise and a new Illinois law that went into effect on Jan. 1 bans all chemicals that are structural derivatives of chemicals that had been banned by an earlier law.
"These operations put retailers on notice that law enforcement is focused on getting these illegal synthetic drugs out of Illinois stores," Madigan said. "The operations also serve to alert the public that synthetic drugs are potentially deadly."
Madigan's staff joined the Grundy County Sheriff's Department in a sweep at Diamond Tobacco last week in Diamond.
"This sends a clear message to anyone that believes synthetic drugs are legal in Grundy County or anywhere in the state of Illinois," said Terry Marketti, the Grundy County sheriff. "They are not, and we will not allow any individual or business to sell them. We will continue to work with the attorney general's office and local agencies to conduct frequent checks to make sure local retailers are in compliance. Synthetics are as dangerous as any other controlled substance."
The operations follow on the heels of several others conducted earlier in February in Pinckneyville and Centralia. The sweep of those two cities included the confiscation of 3,373 packages of synthetic drugs. Madigan and Operation Smoked Out have confiscated 5,700 packages of synthetic drugs in total from 20 retail establishments in seven Illinois counties with a street value of $115,135.