Traffic stop leads to bath salts & spice bust

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - In the face of new, harsher laws on illegal substances investigators say drug dealers are getting creative with how they get their business out.

"When the new law went into effect he had to turn to making illegal spice again not only to keep up with his habit but to keep funds coming in for his business," said Captain Troy Peterson of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators confiscated synthetic marijuana and bath salts, along with weapons and money, on the property of Orange Grove resident David Schwers who is now faces multiple drug charges. Schwers was pulled over on I-10 for a traffic violation.  That's when deputies say they found drugs and paraphernalia in his car.  He was arrested, and later consented to a search of his home.

Narcotics officers with the Sheriff's Department say they found additional drugs in his home.

Authorities believe Schwers was selling drugs through an internet business using his phone and iPad to conduct sales.

"We're seeing more bulk labs," said Peterson.   "We're seeing the people who have the substance for personal use, but you're also finding large quantities of it. They're getting the bags in at one time, they're getting the illegal product in at another time."

Authorities say, the new laws banning spice and bath salts have made a big impact, but the drugs are still out there.

"Is it going to stop? No, it's not going to stop. Somebody will pick right back up tomorrow. And we'll try to get them the best way we can," said Peterson.

"That's why our narcotics division is so important to Harrison County. It allows the officers that have the experience in Narcotics to follow up these cases, to be able to turn what we turned in this case," said Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara.  "This is just an example of what we've been doing since they went back into operation three years ago."

The suspect was charged with possession and intent to distribute drugs.  He was held at the Adult Detention Center on a $30,000 bond.

Spice is synthetic marijuana product; bath salts is also a new substance some are using to get high. Both were recently made illegal in Mississippi.

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