WINFIELD, W. Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed a lawsuit on Monday against a major distributor of the ingredients used to manufacture synthetic designer drugs that are available widely throughout West Virginia.
The lawsuit against Nutragenomics Manufacturing LLC requests that the Circuit Court of Putnam County ban the Alpharetta, Ga.-based company from advertising or selling its products in the state. McGraw alleges that Nutragenomics sells chemicals that are used in the creation of synthetic versions of controlled substances that imitate the effects of ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The company markets the chemicals in bulk under labels such as plant food, bath salts, K2, incense and other harmless sounding names while allegedly claiming that the products are safe.
"Working in conjunction with the Metro Drug Unit, the sheriff's office and other law enforcement agencies, my office is committed to ridding West Virginia of the plague that these designer drugs pose for our communities," McGraw said. "Cutting off these illicit drug compounds at their source is an effective start to cleaning up the problem."
The lawsuit also requests that Nutragenomics identify all West Virginia purchasers of its products and the chemicals that were bought, be restrained from representing that the chemicals it distributes are legal or benign in the state, and be forced to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 for each alleged violation of the state's Consumer Protection Act, in addition to all court and litigation costs.
McGraw alleges that Nutragenomics misleads consumers into believing that its products are legal in West Virginia when they actually violate West Virginia Code § 60A-4-401. Nutragenomics has also allegedly engaged in unfair and deceptive acts that violate multiple sections of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.