Bath salts and synthetic marijuana were targets of a drug sweep conducted Wednesday by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
The synthetic drugs are illegal in Ohio, but authorities learned that some retail stores continued to sell products containing the drugs after the ban.
The effort, dubbed “Operation Synthetic Drug,” began two months ago and involved random inquiries at 148 Central Ohio locations.
As part of the investigation, officials said, 38 purchases were made of items containing the illegal synthetic drugs.
Search warrants were served at 17 area stores Wednesday, where investigators said they were able to purchase items used by some to get high.
Authorities said approximately 6,000 packages of bath salt and spice-type products were seized with an estimated value of $250,000.
Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott said no one was arrested in the sweep, but the operation should send a clear message.
“These drugs are dangerous. These drugs will kill you. You can take it one time and you can die from this stuff and the problem is we have a lot of young people that are experimenting with them and trying them, and they’re dying from them,” said Scott.
Scott said the drug sweep was the first of its kind for his office.
He said the task force has been working with prosecutors and he expects indictments to handed up in the near future.
The sweep was conducted by the Franklin County Drug Task Force with help from the Columbus Division of Police, and was the largest sweep since the ban went into effect.