FOX Files: Synthetic Drug Sellers Find New Tricks

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ST. LOUIS, MO.  (KTVI) - Sellers Call Synthetic Cocaine "Shoe Deodorizer" In The Latest Ploy.  Stores don`t want to give up synthetic drug sales despite new laws and frightening stories.  Chris Hayes confronted some of the latest sellers, while talking to the DEA and a former user about what`s going to stop it.

From a hospital bed, Janelle Farrel said, "Six months ago, I was as healthy as an ox."
Now Farrel is almost powerless after just one hit of synthetic cocaine.  She said it was sold as a supposed bath salt.

Farrel described what happened after she took it, saying, "I started getting delirious and then I don`t remember anything for a month.  I went into a coma."

Farrel said she woke up at Missouri Baptist Hospital.  She needs help with everything.  She explained, "My Mother helps me.  She even has to help me take a bath."

Despite new laws intended to ban synthetic drugs, you can still buy the stuff.  Sellers claim their tests show nothing illegal.  Like Mad Hatter, a synthetic pot we took to the St. Louis County Toxicology Lab.  Tests revealed something called AM2201, specifically outlawed by Missouri law (and just added as a Federal ban on July 9th, 2012).  So we took it back to the store in South St. Louis County, called the Basement.  A clerk ran to the back.

Chris Hayes asked, "Where you going?"

The clerk started yelling at us from the stockroom.

Hayes asked, "Do you want to see these tests results?"

The clerk shook the door yelling, "Get out now!"

A woman, who refused to identify herself, drove up to the store claiming she didn`t know it had anything illegal.

She said, "You burn it as incense, you know, and that`s how it`s supposed to - that`s how we sell it.  I don`t misrepresent it in any way."

Hayes responded, "Incense is a couple bucks, not $20 - $30."

The unidentified woman said, "Oh I beg to differ."

Then there`s this synthetic cocaine in a jar, with a sticker that simply says 'GoGo.'
We bought it from the 'Little Store' in Fenton.

St. Louis Toxicology lab tests found a substance called 'Pentedrone,' which may fall under Missouri's ban of MDPV and any analogues of MDPV (A toxicologist described Pentedrone as an analogue of MDPV).

We went undercover during a follow up visit to the 'Little Store,' to find they`re no longer selling it, but they hope to begin selling it soon.

A clerk said, "That`s supposed to be returnable property because there`s nothing illegal in there, but they still confiscated it all."  The clerk added, "For some reason they said all of a sudden that GoGo and Mad Hatter were illegal."

We went into the store for answers.  Again, we heard an excuse we`ve heard before.
The clerk said the distributor, "Sent paperwork and the paperwork said that it was legal."

Chris Hayes followed up, "It comes in a little jar that looks like cocaine and you think it`s okay?"

Clerk, "The paperwork we got said it was legal and above board because we will not sell anything in here if it is not legal."

Hayes, "Legal what - what would this do?"

Clerk, "I don`t know, I`ve never done it."

Hayes, "So you`re supposed to do it?"

Clerk, "You`re supposed to scour pots and pans with it or put it in your shoes."

Hayes, "You`re serious."

Clerk, "Yes."

Hayes, "Pots and pans with this."

Clerk, "Mmmhm."

Hayes, "You expect people to believe..."

Clerk, "I don`t have the box with me right now because we just don`t have anymore.  So as far as I know it`s scouring pots and pans or shoe deodorizer.  That`s what it comes in the box and says what it is."

Hayes, "That sounds ludicrous that anybody would think you really believe that."

Clerk, "Ludicrous is what you want to believe, but we do not sell anything that is considered illegal in this store."

Now the DEA is stepping in.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Shroba said, "The message needs to get out, loud and clear, none of this is legal and anybody that thinks because it wasn`t controlled, or they were unsure, is only kidding themselves."

On July 9th, President Barack Obama signed a Federal Ban that includes 26 substances. The DEA is already running with it.

Shroba said, "If you`re distributing it, we`re coming after you.  And if you`re a retailer and you think because someone`s selling it to you that you`re somehow shielded from the law, you`d better think again, because we`ll come after you and we`ll take their businesses from them."

The DEA is ready for street chemists tweaking chemical formulas to evade the law.

Shroba said, "We`ll move to emergency scheduling if we have to, to add these so that we can continue to head off these distributors."

Janelle Farrel fears the demand from drug users is too strong.

She said, "They`ll just come out with something exactly the same and call it something different."

Hayes followed up, "So what can we do about it?

Farrel responded, "There`s nothing really can do about it, just educate."

Hayes, "So if you would've heard your story?.."

Farrel, "Oh yeah, there would`ve been no way I would`ve touched it."


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Pictures - Synthetic Drugs Tested By FOX 2

PICTURES: Synthetic Pot

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