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Feds back up NH police in Salem 'bath salts' raid

Union Leader Correspondent

July 25. 2012 9:55PM

SALEM - Police and federal agents raided a Route 28 smoke shop/adult novelty store, seizing bath salts and other intoxicants as part of a year-long investigation into the business, police said.

Police and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration went to the store, Can You Dig It, around 10 a.m. Wednesday and began filling trucks with much of the store's merchandise, according to Salem Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten.

New Hampshire has no law on its books banning the sale of bath salts, Patten said, which prompted the department to call in federal authorities for help with the investigation.

Patten said that the business became a target for investigators as a result of several overdoses in the area.

'All of them have required police and fire (department) responses,' Patten said. 'We want to get this stuff off counters and away from kids.'

The store, located at 101 Main St., advertises itself as selling adult novelty items, tattoo services and an assortment of knives and Airsoft pellet gun supplies.

'Just about the only thing legal they had in the shop was cigarettes,' Patten said. 'We are in the process of removing Cannabinoids, bath salts - it was a virtual potpourri of items people are using to get intoxicated.'

The raid came after a series of undercover purchases made by investigators at the store over the last 12 to 18 months, according to Patten.

The federal search warrant executed at the business allowed investigators to walk away with a trove of merchandise, Patten said.

'We've seized so much stuff that we had to pack it into two pick-up trucks and a Suburban,' he said.

So far, no one has been charged in the case. Business records show the store is owned by a woman in North Andover, Mass.

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James A. Kimble may be reached at

Crime, law and justice Social issues Salem

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