WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and the U.S. 119 Drug Task Force arrested a Williamson man on Thursday for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana.
A spokesman for the MCSD said a search warrant was obtained for the residence of John Arnn of 527 Maple Walk in Williamson. During the search, a green-leafy vegetation was found and it has been sent to the crime lab for testing.
The substance is thought to be the latest synthetic marijuana, which is very dangerous and has caused several overdoses in the area. (Synthetic cannabis or marijuana is any drug that mimics the effects of cannabis sprayed onto a herbal base material. There are several psychoactive artificial cannabinoid families that are used as designer drugs sprayed on herbs and sold as natural highs.)
“We have conducted multiple undercover buys,” the MCSD spokesman said. “We found a significant amount of the substance in plastic baggies.”
Numerous plastic packets were confiscated in the search of the residence.
“This is still an ongoing investigation,” the officer said. The Williamson detachment of the West Virginia State Police and Chief Barry Blair of the Williamson Police Department assisted with the investigation and the arrest of Arnn.
“This is really bad right now and a lot of teenagers have been using it,” the spokesman said. “This is a man-made drug and if you check with the hospitals, you will see that they have had several overdoses. This does not show up on a regular drug screening test.”
He said permanent health damage could be caused to a person’s body by using this substance. Officers have had difficulty with making the arrests of persons who were thought to be high on the synthetic substance. They are reportedly combative and antagonistic with law enforcement officers.
Arnn was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Barry Marcum. He was charged with possession and intent to deliver. More charges are pending against the alleged drug dealer.
He was lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden.
If anyone suspects this type of drug activity in their neighborhood they are encouraged to call law enforcement offices and report it.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)