MOORPARK (CBSLA.com) — Prosecutors Tuesday announced charges against three men accused of selling, possessing and distributing hallucinogenic drugs known as “bath salts” in Ventura County.
Joshua Wright, 36, of Moorpark, and Brandon Sarrail, 26, of Simi Valley, were charged with possession for sale and sales of the drug in connection to two DoughMain Smoke Shops in Moorpark and Thousand Oaks.
Jonathan Riedel, 31, of Utah, was accused of packaging and selling the bath salts across the country and to both head shops.
Sgt. Victor Fazio of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said the drug charges stem from alleged violations of the California Health and Safety Code.
“Which are basically the sales of methamphetamine or Ecstasy. This is the first case we know of where we’ve actually used that section to go after these individuals,” he said.
The drug ring investigation began in June 2012 when a woman crashed her car into a Moorpark home and told police she used bath salts purchased from DoughMain Smoke Shop in Moorpark.
KCAL9’s Art Barron reported that undercover agents claimed the head shop did, in fact, sell the drugs.
Taylor Lopez, a DoughMain employee, told Barron no bath salts were sold at the shop at the time of a raid last September.
Lopez, however, said authorities did find bags of it in the back of the store.
“There were bags that were in a box getting ready to be shipped back to the company for a return of money,” he said.
Wright and Sarrail are scheduled to appear in court in April.
Riddell remains behind bars in Ventura County on $1 million bail.
Bath salts, a highly dangerous drug, can cause a psychotic episode, brain damage and, in some cases, death.