Vinita Shop Owner Busted In Undercover Bath Salt Sting

Monday, March 14th 2011, 4:34 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

VINITA, Oklahoma -- The state made its first arrest for the sale of bath salts.

These salts are a huge drug concern in the U.S. and are now being sold in Green Country.

Three states have outlawed them and Oklahoma is trying to, but, essentially it's a legal and potentially lethal high.

Police say people are snorting these bath salts to get high and are having hallucinations, bursts of super strength, they become combative and paranoid.

Now, a shop owner in Vinita has been arrested for selling them.

They seem innocent enough, bath salts with names like White Horse, Purple Haze or Vanilla Sky and they're even labeled, not for human consumption.

But drug agents say people are consuming them to get high and it's making them lose their minds.

One woman thought her mother was a monster who was after her, so attacked her with a machete. One man thought he had something inside him, so slit open his own stomach with a knife

People are comparing it to a high like cocaine, meth, or LSD.

The problem for police is that the chemicals and compounds that make up the bath salts are perfectly legal.

But, Jim Ward with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says selling them to get high is not.

"The way the statute is for Oklahoma, selling it is like selling the synthetic form for CDS, controlled and dangerous substance," Ward said.

Ward went into the Twisted Sister shop undercover with a hidden camera and says he bought White Horse bath salts made by Down 2 Earth.

He says the store's co-owner, Shellie Williams, sold him a half a gram for $30.

"She actually had a sample packet in her back pocket to show me what it looked like. It was a white, fine powder," Ward said.

Ward says parents need to know that when they find something that seems innocent, it might not be and they need to question their kids about why they have things like bath salts and what they're doing with them.

News On 6 called the Twisted sister shop to get their side, but, no one answered.

Jim says through his investigation, he also learned people are smoking incense, which is also labeled, not for human consumption.

He says even though the ingredients may be legal right now, people can still be arrested for selling them or using them to get high.

Other states and countries have already banned the chemicals used to make bath salts.