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News Franklin man arrested for selling ‘spice’

Brad Douglas AikenOfficers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) arrested a Franklin man last week for the alleged sale of illegal substances at a local alternative gift shop.

According to a press release by the JCSO the day following the arrest, Brad Douglas Aiken, 20, of Franklin, was charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a place to keep controlled substances. A $1,500 secured bond was set at the time of Aiken’s arrest.

On Nov. 23, 2011, Jackson deputies issued a search warrant at Doobie’s Party Accessories located at 22 Steeple Drive in Sylva. Approximately one half ounce of suspected synthetic cannabinoids was seized during the search. The suspected substances — commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K2” — were sent to the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation Laboratory for analysis. According to the release, the results were returned to the JCSO last week — seven months after the search warrant was executed.

Aiken, a coowner and manager of the establishment, was subsequently arrested without incident immediately after the results were received. JCSO Deputies were assisted in the seizure by NCSBI agents.

The above store, located on Back Street in Sylva, was raided last week by Jackson County authorities after it had been allegedly selling outlawed synthetic cannabinoids.The incident marks the second “spice” arrest Jackson authorities have made since a law went into effect last June that bans the sale of synthetic marijuana. Sold under the guise of “herbal incense” and reportedly used as recreational drugs, the two substances were made Schedule VI controlled substances.

A broad range of side effects have been associated with the drug in recent years, including confirmed reports from emergency rooms in Kansas, Texas and other states connecting the abuse of these products by teenagers to seizures, unconsciousness, memory gaps and respiratory failure.

Depending on the amount and the type of the drugs, penalties can range from misdemeanors to felonies. For instance, anyone who sells, manufactures, delivers, transports or possesses 150 to 750 grams of synthetic cannabinoids is to be charged as a felon and face a 25-30 month prison sentence and a minimum fine of $5,000, according to state statutes.

Store management was unavailable for comment as of press time. No other charges are currently forthcoming in the case.


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