2 Utahns arrested in $30 mil. Las Vegas spice bust


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SALT LAKE CITY — Two people have been arrested in Utah in connection with a major bust in Las Vegas where police say they shut down a major Spice and bath salt manufacturing and distribution operation.

The Utah Attorney General's Office with assistance from the Logan Police Department made the arrests on Monday, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The A.G.'s office declined comment about the case Tuesday.

According to Las Vegas police, a search warrant was served Monday in the 3600 block of South Highland Avenue in Las Vegas, where "a major production and distribution facility for illegal synthetic narcotics" was discovered.

What is spice?
Spice is a previously legal synthetic alternative to cannabis, now banned in Utah. It is designed specifically to mimic the effects of cannabis on those who smoke it. It is sold as a 'potpourri," and labelled as not intended for human consumption, but is widely used recreationally.

"Discovered inside of the building were hundreds of pounds of chemicals, raw materials and precursors for the production of synthetic narcotics commonly known as 'Spice' and 'bath salts,' as well as a large quantity of finished product packaged for distribution," according to Las Vegas police.

Investigators believe with the amount of chemicals found inside the lab, Spice and bath salts worth an estimated $20 million to $30 million on the street could have been produced.

The warrants were served after the Utah Attorney General's Office notified Las Vegas authorities several days ago of possible shipments of the drugs coming from their area, Vegas police said.

Spice, also known as synthetic marijuana, was made illegal in Nevada in May. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill in February making Spice illegal in Utah as well as bath salts such as Ivory Wave, used illegally as a kind of synthetic methamphetamine.

Email:preavy@ksl.com

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