Dalton Police Make One of the State's Biggest Synthetic Drug Bust

Reported by: Caitlyn Jones
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Updated: 2/07 6:45 pm
        More than 13 hundred Packages of synthetic drugs all found at the Discount Tobacco Food Mart store in Dalton.
     The owner Dhansukh C. Bhika was arrested.
     Public Information Officer Bruce Frazier says they found the usual synthetic marijuana and something they've never seen before..
        "We've heard about it, but we had not seen it in Dalton yet, is the little containers of the liquid chemical that you can consume with an e cigarette or a vapor pen," said Frazier.
        A synthetic drug is a chemical compound made to imitate the effects of drugs like marijuana.
        Georgia state law has recently outlawed the type of compound that was found in the seized drugs.
        Elisel Pinteo says he's bought the stuff from Bhika before and that it isn't all that bad.
        "It doesn't get you drugged up or nothing. It just gives you extra menthol to your cigarette that's it," Pinteo said.
        Jose Zuniga says Bhika shouldn't have been arrested.
        "He's a really nice person and I highly doubt he knows that all this stuff is illegal because he's from another place, he's Indian," Zuniga said.
        But Frazier says when the synthetic drugs were outlawed in 2012, the department made an effort to let all area businesses know they could no longer sell it.
        "If he didn't know it was illegal he would not have been selling it from underneath the counter at his business," said Frazier.
        He adds that the drug isn't something to mess around with.
        "It is not marijuana, it is not safe, it can be dangerous to use.  There are long term health effects in using it.  And whereas it used to be something people considered to be legal and you might have felt safe smoking it because of that, that's no longer the case," Frazier said.
        Bhika has been charged with 9 counts of selling a Schedule 1 drug. 
        Investigators also seized nearly 85-thousand dollars in cash.
        GBI's crime lab will test it to confirm its chemical composition.
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