Authorities raid local businesses suspected of selling synthetic marijuana

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CANONSBURG, Pa. —

Members of the State Drug Task force and Pennsylvania State Police executed a dozen search warrants Wednesday morning at various local businesses in an effort to eliminate synthetic marijuana products and other drugs from the community.

 Officials said the search warrants were granted following controlled buys from various retail locations in recent months by State Police troopers and undercover detectives.

The Cricket store on West Pike Street in Canonsburg and Penn Tobacco Outlet in Turtle Creek were two of the stores raided Wednesday morning.

Authorities told Channel 11 News that other stores were also raided, but their locations have not been released.

Officials said several of the raided stores have been under surveillance for the past few months.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or spice, is illegal in Pennsylvania but was still being found in stores around the area.

Authorities said they’ve seen a rise in the use of synthetic marijuana, K2, and bath salts, as well as the undesirable side effects that accompany them, prompting the investigation.

"Today's work is a continuation of our mission to protect young adults and children from dangerous drugs in our community,” District Attorney Eugene Vittone said. “These products are of unknown origin and are imported into this country. They present a serious recognized health risk." 

Vittone added that the investigation traced the products sold in Washington County to their origin in China.

 Officials have not said who faces what charges as result of the raids.

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