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Four smoke shops on reservation raid by feds -- cigarettes, fake pot, bath salts seized

Federal authorities raided four smoke shops on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation this morning, seizing alleged untaxed cigarettes, synthetic marijuana and bath salts, according to U.S. Attorney for Western New York William Hochul.

Authorities are investigating whether the so-called synthetic drugs were being sold for human consumption, Hochul said.

Sale of products such as K2, Spice and bath salts for human consumption is illegal as an analogue to controlled substances.

"There's been reporting throughout the country on how dangerous these substances are," Hochul said. "Obviously, we want to reduce that danger where we can."

"It's 100 percent a public safety issue," Hochul added. "Whether it comes to bath salts or even untaxed cigarettes, you don't know what's in these substances."

At least one of the smoke shops is also under investigation for alleged sale of counterfeit merchandise, Hochul said.

No charges have been filed, Hochul said. This is an ongoing investigation.

The shops raided were The Rez, Arrow Hawk, Sacajawea and Smoke Rings.

Unrelated, there was also apparently a raid (or raids) this morning in the City of Batavia by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. There is no more information available at this time on this activity.

Gabor Deutsch
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When did any of this become illegal ?

terry paine
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"It's 100 percent a public safety issue," I'll bet he said that with a straight face just like all sociopaths would.

Teresa Mullikin
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I dont do it but, It all boils down to money....if the state/feds was getting a cut they would not give a sheeott who smoked or did what!

Teresa Mullikin
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either last week or the beginning of this week...nation wide

John Roach
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Teresa,
This was not the State, it was the feds. But you are right.

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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What took so long? These products are making kids "weedtarted"
WAY TO STEP IT UP BIG GUY

Teresa Mullikin
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yes...u r right...thanks

Gerard Waite
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Well if marihjauna was legal would people be buying the synthetic stuff?

Doug Yeomans
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Since when is it the responsibility of the Federal gov to protect people from themselves? If people are stupid enough to ingest substances that might hurt them, the responsibility should be shouldered by them. We expect it of people who smoke, chew and drink, so why not with anything else, also?

Be careful what you wish for because when personal responsibility is taken away from you, someone else will make decisions for you that you just might not like.

Chris Charvella
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Legalize it. The synthetic stuff is dangerous, the real stuff is not.

Thomas Schneider
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Government only exists to justify its existence. What's really terrible is they've been using these same tactics against the Amish in PA for selling raw milk.

Frank Bartholomew
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So when will the feds be raiding all retail stores that sell cold medicine? ever hear of robo tripping, I'm sure it is not the intention of the manufacturer for kids to drink the whole bottle at one time, but they do.

Carol Magoffin
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Is the rez genesee country? Ha

Rachael Scott
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Not that I'm a huge proponent of government involvement in anything, but I think the difference is those cold medicines do serve some sort of good purpose when used correctly. You can't control what certain idiots do with them, only natural selection can do that.. but they shouldn't be made unavailable to people who need them. As for the bath salts.. they are a public safety issue and what purpose do they serve other than to get high? My main concern is how the main abusers are youth and the people who sell them have no concern for the potentially damaging effects that will crop up later in one's life. But then again, natural selection I guess.

Frank Bartholomew
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Why do people consume alcohol, to catch a buzz, relax, whatever, and those who manufacture and distribute alcohol could also care less about long term health problems associated with alcohol consumption. What's your point?

Doug Yeomans
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It's ironic that selling pot or bath salts gets you labeled as a dirty ol' drug dealer that needs to be run off to prison but the guy or gal behind the counter at a liquor store or corner store is just another legit merchant selling you beer, booze or tobacco. Legalize pot and turn it into a legit, tax paying business because some people selling pot really ARE dirty scumbuckets. Turning it into a legit business would get rid of all the organized crime surrounding that part of the illicit drug trade.

Thomas Schneider, imagine that! I grew up on raw milk from my grampa's farm. I can remember carrying the warm, stainless steel, milk-can to the house and handing it to my gramma to cool and separate in the fridge. There was nothing like a tall glass of ice cold, whole milk an hour out of the udders.

Again, it should not be the job of the gov to prevent someone from making a livelihood selling something they grew. I can understand making rules such as the need to chill the milk right away and to keep a clean system, but if someone wants to buy and drink unpasteurized milk, who is the gov to say otherwise? It shouldn't be any of their business to prevent it from happening.

Irene Will
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I too was raised on a farm, and drank raw whole milk - and better yet, skimmed off the really THICK cream so I could put it on my strawberry shortcake. I TOTALLY AGREE with Doug - - if someone knows the milk is unpasteurized, and wants to buy and drink unpasteurized milk, who is the gov to say otherwise? It shouldn't be any of their business to prevent it from happening.

Bob Meyer
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You can drink raw unpasteurized milk if you produce it. But if you try to SELL it as some folks have, you'll run "afoul" of the FDA. There have been busts for this in some Amish communities in the Midwest.
As for the "salvia" busts and the bath salts, that stuff is PURE CRAP! This action was appropriate.
Now, as to the "legal" drug....ALCOHOL. The government makes WAY TO MUCH money on it and they like it that way. But with it's "abuse" comes stiff penalties. It is the most per capita addictive substance there is. Causes more injuries and ruined lives than all the other "illegal" drugs COMBINED. Do we need another mind/mood altering drug to go along with it? The populace is surely divided on that one. The majority leans toward the negative. But the "War on Drugs" continues, it's a losing battle. Solutions? Only one. It lies with the individual. Freedom to choose. The question is; do we need any more means to "anesthetize" our FUBAR society?

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