SALEM, IN (WAVE) – Six people are behind bars after police bust a southern Indiana gas station for selling synthetic marijuana. It's a problem that has impacted the small town of Salem in a big way.
"We've had numerous complaints of people who have been on this, people say it changes your actions, changes their behavior and the citizens are concerned," said Chief Troy Merry of the Salem Police Department.
Merry is talking about the effects of using synthetic marijuana and he says the Marathon gas station on Mulberry Street was the center of large illegal operation selling and delivering the spice.
"I think because of the lure of the marketing aspect of this, you get a lot of kids that are drawn to this and I think that's one of the reasons it is here locally," said Salem Police Major Scott Ratts.
Police arrested these six people on various charges in connection to this bust.
"It's not just one person, it's not just the owner of the store," said Ratts. "Its other employees throughout our investigation we found out that they had knowledge that this was going on. They even participated in this."
Along with the more than 200 spice packets, officers found $5,000 in cash inside the store. Investigators say a few weeks ago U.S. postal inspectors seized nearly $20,000 in cash in this investigation.
"We don't believe that the product is coming in from overseas, but we have a reason to believe that some of the money may be going back overseas because this person is originally from the Middle East area," said Ratts.
Police still have to arrest the owner of the gas station. They say he's out of town, but there will be an arrest warrant waiting for him when he gets back.
Salem police say this is an investigation they have been working on for more than year and they are also in the process of obtaining additional search warrants in Washington County.
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