"I wasn't surprised. The place looks a little shady over there anyway," said Kevin Nokes, owner of Kentucky Gun Works. His store sits just across the street from Owensboro's latest synthetic pot bust.
"I didn't have any idea they were selling that kind of stuff over there," he said. "Now that they've been shut down, it's probably good news for the neighborhood."
Earlier this week, police seized more than 150 packages of synthetic marijuana from "This-N-That", a store at the corner of Bosley Road and Calhoun Street. The drugs had a cash value of more than $2,000. The store's manager, William Maglinger, was arrested for those drugs, as well as possession of meth, more than 120 prescription pills, and a handgun.
"It was a very rapidly growing problem once we started seeing the issues arise, especially with people coming into the emergency room with health problems from that product," said Officer Michael Hathaway of the Owensboro Police Department. Hathaway says the agency is working hard to keep these drugs off the street, because of the major health risks they pose.
"The problem with synthetic drugs is we don't know what chemicals have been added to the product," said Hathaway. "The people who are actually making this and shipping it from overseas are adding whatever chemicals that they have available. So the person who's trying to use that product and mimicking the effects of marijuana, are actually ingesting chemicals into their bodies that we have no notice of and no knowledge of the products."
Nokes says it makes him angry to see business owners breaking the law while he's trying to run a clean establishment.
"I'm frustrated with any business that's taking part in illegal activity, whether it's drugs or anything else," he said. "When you're a business owner, you're trying to do everything the right way. And you've got people cutting corners and all this and that; it's frustrating to see that going on."
Maglinger faces charges of Trafficking a Controlled substance for the meth and pills police say they found. His other charge, Trafficking a Synthetic Cannabinoid, is a Class "A" Misdemeanor.