DEA Busts Alleged Bath Salt Drug Operation

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 7:03 AM EDT
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Authorities announced a major bust related to the distribution and sale of so-called

Chris Glorioso

Authorities announced a major bust related to the distribution and sale of so-called "bath salt" drugs. NBC New York has exclusive video.

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Authorities busted an alleged distributor and several sellers of the designer drug known as "bath salts" on Tuesday, raiding shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn that sold the stimulants.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said an undercover investigation led to charges for 10 people, including a major distributor out of Seattle.

The Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office established a Bath Salts Task Force in February, and has investigated several retail shops in the area that sell the drug.

The DEA used undercover agents to purchase bath salts, seizing about $2 million worth of them throughout the investigation.

"Bath salts are one of the latest designer drugs to reach our shores, and they have proven to be a public health and safety menace with dangerous, and sometimes deadly, consequences," he said.

The drugs are not actually used as a bath product, and are called "bath salts" to evade law enforcement detection, according to authorities.

They are usually snorted as powder or taken as pills and produce highs similar to cocaine and methamphetamines.

Those arrested Tuesday face multiple drug charges.

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