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Thirteen charged with distributing synthetic pot in Kentucky

It's a little over an hour's drive from Marshall County to Hopkins County. The county northeast of Benton was recently the site of the arrests of 13 people on drug trafficking charges.

Law enforcement officials say officers confiscated more than 50 pounds of synthetic marijuana in a series of raids. A city police chief characterized those arrested as part of the “largest distribution network of synthetic cannabinoid” in the western part of Kentucky, extending up into southern Indiana.

Officials said the group is responsible for manufacturing and distributing up to 100 pounds per month of synthetic pot. They said they seized from some individuals arrested chemicals that are mixed with herbs to simulate the effects of natural marijuana.

Authorities identified a manager of a chain restaurant outlet as the alleged "kingpin" of the drug ring.

Like so many similar enforcement operations, the raids began around 4 a.m. This one involved 30 policing agencies, including the Kentucky State Police and the DEA, a news report stated. The suspects were being detained in federal facilities.

A sheriff touted the arrests as an effort to protect area youth. “To be quite honest with you, it’s melting some people’s brains,” he said.

Obviously, that's a bit of hyperbole, but there is no doubt that a number of people nationwide have reported bad reactions to similar synthetic substances.

Those charged with manufacturing and distributing synthetic drugs face potentially harsh penalties that can include prison, large fines, lengthy periods of probation and other strict measures.

An experienced Benton criminal defense attorney begins working immediately on protecting your rights, dissecting police statements and evidence, examining crime lab reports and working with you to analyze your best legal options and pursue those in negotiations or at trial.

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