Feedback: Man Accused Of Trying To Break Into Stores To Steal 'Spice'

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A man who was allegedly trying to get his hands on the synthetic marijuana known as 'Spice' was charged by two police agencies with trying to break into two local businesses known to sell the substance.

Watertown city police say 21 year old Sheamus Broderick of Fort Drum was charged with trying to break into Trip on the Wild Side on Mill Street.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department accuses him of a similar crime at High Life on Route 11 in the town of Pamelia, just outside city limits.

Police say he used a metal pole to smash a window at High Life and tried to use a tire iron to open several doors at Trip on the Wild Side.

Sheriff deputies charged him with attempted burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief. 

Deputies say he was allegedly driving a stolen pickup truck at the time of his arrest.

Watertown police charged him with third-degree attempted burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief and possession of burglar tools.

He is being held in the county jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Broderick is a soldier stationed at Fort Drum.

His arrest came not long after the local post warned four local businesses that they would be banned for soldiers if they don't stop selling synthetic marijuana.

"The stuff is really bad and not only that, it's illegal.  It's illegal for our soldiers to have," said Fort Drum spokeswoman Julie Cupernall.

Bill Bowman with the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County says Fort Drum is taking an important step. 

He says even though synthetic marijuana is legal, it's even more dangerous than the real thing.

"These are addictive substances. These drugs are as dangerous as drugs on the street," he said.

Bowman's organization has started a grassroots campaign to raise awareness and get the substance banned in the state.

The group's message has already reached state Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District).

She says a conversation with someone who used the substance inspired her to co-sponsor a bill banning the sale of synthetic marijuana in the state.

"They actually had used one of the drugs, not thinking it was an issue because it was legal and ended up in the hospital for a few days," she said.

One of the problems with banning a synthetic drug is that makers can simply change the substance's chemical compound and begin selling again.

Ritchie's bill intends to avoid that problem by targeting any chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana on the brain. 

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Friday, November 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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