The state's attorney general is suing a chain of head shops with a store in Watertown for selling certain synthetic drugs.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Tebb's Head Shops are selling bath salts and other synthetic drugs in violation of state laws about package labels.
"Tebb's is a large player in the synthetic drug market in New York state," said Deanna Nelson, the assistant attorney general based in Watertown.
Schneiderman is suing John Tebbetts III of Rome who owns eight Tebb's shops in Syracuse, Oneida, Utica, Cicero, Watertown and Herkimer.
"Tebb's Head Shops have brazenly profited from the illegal sale and promotion of dangerous synthetic drugs and have contributed to a dramatic public health crisis in New York state," Schneiderman said.
Schneiderman accuses Tebb's of relabeling bath salts to become glass cleaner.
He also claims Tebb's had a chain-wide competition for a new name for a new synthetic marijuana created to avoid the April statewide ban.
Officials say Tebb's sells drugs disguised by manufacturers - skirting the law.
"A very poorly held secret in the industry of designer drugs," Nelson said. "There are limitless combinations of molecules that can be put together to cause some sort of a drug effect."
Tebb's in Watertown was raided July 25 as part of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Operation Log Jam that targeted shops across the country that sold synthetic drugs like bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
The day before, the Watertown Tebb's was attacked by an irate father whose son had a bad reaction to bath salts he bought at the store.
The attorney general filed suit against 16 New York head shops on July 10, including Trip on the Wild Side II on Mill Street.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Watertown, NY
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