LAFAYETTE, LA (FOX44) — Two local stores were raided by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics division this morning. They’re accused of selling illegal synthetic drugs.
“We’ve been aware of the businesses for several months and increased our focus within the last three months,” Captain John Babin, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, explained while on the scene of the bust. “We have made purchases from the stores recently that have tested positive for illegal substances. We’re anticipating a couple of arrests out of this, but we’re still sorting through all of the items.”
The raids were executed shortly before noon at Burnt on Johnston Street and Burnt 2 on Southpark Road. Cpt. Babin says the activity that occurred during the short amount of time the stores were open prior to the busts is a good indicator for why these businesses continue to sell the banned substances.
“I was at the first store this morning and watched about 15 or 30 people go through the doors within the first 30 minutes,” he explained. “I think these business owners are fully aware that they are selling illegal products, but I think it’s all about the money for why they’re doing it. I just don’t think they want to walk away from the money.”
Several chemicals used in the synthetic products were banned by Governor Jindal last year after health and hospital workers began noting the side effects and symptoms presenting from usage.
“Several people have gotten sick, gone to the hospital, and even died from using the stuff,” Cpt. Babin said when asked how harmful the ingredients can be. “You’re putting something in your body and you have no idea what chemicals it actually contains. Not all of them are listed on the package. You’re basically turning yourself into an experiment. You don’t know what’s going to happen to you or what your body is going to do.”
Along with a search at the business locations, three residential homes were searched.
“We searched the homes of the business owners as well,” Cpt. Babin explained. “I believe we’re going to have several arrests at the end of the day.”
All of the items confiscated during the raid today will have to be tested to determine if they do in fact contain illegal substances.