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Bust at Cosmic Charley's
Police conduct search for illegal synthetic marijuana
W 110211 DRUG BUST 1
Statesboro Police officer Justin Samples carries out a box of evidence from Cosmic Charley's Wednesday after law enforcement officers executed a search warrant. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

       City and county law enforcement officials emerged from within Cosmic Charley's Wednesday afternoon with boxes of confiscated materials after searching the Statesboro business for illegal synthetic marijuana.
       The Statesboro Police Department and Bulloch County Drug Suppression Team executed a search warrant for the Main Street retailer in reference to illicit sales of synthetic cannabis products including K-2 and Spice, according to Rob Bryan, detective sergeant for the Statesboro Police Department.
       Law enforcement officers were seen with guns drawn surrounding the Cosmic Charley's building at 418 S. Main St. about 3 p.m. Wednesday
       The search culminated an investigation of undercover purchases that began in July.
       Officials plan to release a press statement Thursday morning to reveal findings of the operation and unveil any associated charges, Bryan said.
       Synthetic marijuana products, which had emerged as a popular, legal alternative to marijuana among teenagers and college students, were outlawed by Georgia legislators in 2010.
       The products are usually marketed as incense and sold online, in convenience stores and in herbal or spiritual shops like Cosmic Charley's.
       Health experts say the potpourri-like substance causes individuals to have a rapid heart rate, dangerously high blood pressure and sometimes hallucinations or paranoia when smoked.
       More than 10 other states have also issued bans on the products.

       Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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