Big bath salt drug bust in Billyburg

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These bath salts will clean out more than your pores.

Federal agents arrested nine alleged drug pushers — including one on Grand Street in Williamsburg and three others in Brooklyn — in the city’s first “bath salts” drug bust on Tuesday afternoon, seizing 40 kilograms of the designer narcotic worth $2 million.

US Attorney Preet Bharara announced that the nine smoke shop employees would be charged with distribution of controlled substances, delivery of misbranded drugs and conspiracy, and faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials launched their undercover investigation in February, targeting smoke shops and tattoo parlors in Brooklyn and Manhattan that sold pipes, bongs and other drug paraphernalia.

Their investigation led them to Grand Street’s Fugetaboutit, where a DEA agent purchased bath salts from store employee Yacob Biton, 34, who allgedly told an undercover agent that his drug, “White Lightning,” was the “best s—t” and provided “a better high than cocaine” that would increase sexual performance.

Biton also allgedly bragged that he had sold it to 50 satisfied customers, including several exotic dancers who worked at Manhattan nightclubs.

Two days later, Biton secured his 51st, allegedly selling 32.7 grams of methylone to the agent, assuring him that it was the “strongest bath salt on the market.”

And on March 28, Biton sold another 648.7 grams of a bath salt to the undercover agent, telling him that “no one else sold a higher quality blend of bath salts.”

Biton and other smoke shop workers sold these synthetic chemicals labeled as soothing bathing salts for as much as $40 to $100 a gram.

Packets of bath salts are branded with names such as “Russian River,” White Cloud,” “Goodfellas,” “Snow Blow,” and “Charley Sheene,” but usually carry the warning, “not for human consumption.”

But drug users ignore the warnings and snort the salts in powder form, swallow it in pill form or inject it intravenously to experience highs similar to ecstasy and stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines.

“One of the charges involves that [the stores] put on packages, ‘not for human consumption’ — “but they’re telling undercover purchasers how to use the product,” said DEA spokesman Robert Michaelis.

Sometimes its side effects can be catastrophic.

Drug abuse of “bath salts” can lead to psychotic episodes, panic attacks and delusions and the drug has been linked to suicide, self-inflicted wounds and homicide in scores of cases throughout the country.

So far this year, the American Association of Poison Control has reported 1,782 calls regarding bath salts abuse and overdose, a 300 percent increase in calls from 2010.

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Reader Feedback

Katie from Park Slope says:
I took a bath this morning - am I high right now??? OMG, freaking out!!!
June 29, 2011, 5:52 am
Judahspechal from bedstuy says:
Bath Salt? Really?
June 29, 2011, 7:46 am
Judahspechal from bedstuy says:
that's a new one. Never knew! Hmmmm!
June 29, 2011, 7:46 am
anywho says:
Using that photo to illustrate the use of this drug is stupid. What it really necessary?

Shame on you
June 29, 2011, 7:53 am
Ernie from Schermerhorn says:
Good god! Big Bird is doing bath salts!
June 29, 2011, 8 am
peter from bedsty says:
Ivan that was very funny...@ Lcuy yes thats definately a Hanukkah nose that can be used during intercourse as well..
June 29, 2011, 10:38 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
This new drug has been responsible for all kinds of
nasty unpleasantness, including one jerk who got so
high he tried to slice the skin off his face with a knife.
Speaking of nasty new drugs, has anyone seen the
pictures of the effects of the Russian drug Krokodile?
Holy crap, it makes your skin and flesh peel off and
you end up looking like a zombie !
June 29, 2011, 10:39 am
Crocolicious from Billburgo says:
Rob - don't believe the hype. The best new trend around billyburg is to Krok out with your c*ck out. Anyone who enjoys fun these days is out in Williamsburg getting Dundee'd Paul Hogan style in between PBRs. My skin isn't falling out and I've hunted more Croc than Steven Irwin.
June 29, 2011, 11:24 am
K. from ArKady says:
Say, don't Hogan that desomorphine, Croc.
June 29, 2011, 4:57 pm
Goyo from Los Sures says:
Forget about it!
June 29, 2011, 6:48 pm
chuck from usa says:
I think its tellin us that the good ole usa will snort smoke or mainline anything that will get them hi.Young people today dont care if they live till tomorrow.TO think one day soon they will be running the usa!! What next battery acid? Gasoline?
June 30, 2011, 4:49 pm
chuck from HOMETOWN USA says:
My brother in law Just went to the hospital from smoking the crap, he is in a fetal position the doctors said he may die from it, if he lives that his brain has been severly damaged from the drugs.
On top of that he went crazy and stabbed his and his wifes best friend 3 times in the leg severing an vein or arterie. That was his best friend.Needless to say if he lives they are trying him for 1st degree attempted murder.All he keeps saying is dont take my wife and my wife has all the my drugs over and over for the past week.Let everyone be warned this is some really stupid —— to be putting into your body.For those that dont care do us all a favor just go out and take a gun and shoot yourself.That way you can die and not physically harm other people.
June 30, 2011, 5:04 pm
jimmy from PA says:
"Bath salts" is just as general a term as "drugs". The "bath salt" that is doing all the damage is MDPV. Its not that someone is using an actual bath salt, its that these products are being packaged and sold as thing SUCH AS bath salts, incense, etc. MDPV is like/worse than Methanphetamine. Some of the other drugs are potentially as safe/harmful as marijuana or clean MDMA. Not saying those drugs are safe, but the press has a responsiblity to not report these crazy side effects in connection with the proper drug. And yes, people do stupid tings while on drugs......that's why they are illegal......especially for children. So the main fight should be against the hardest of the drugs MDPV, not mixing the results or side effects in a group of 5 or more dfferent drugs. The only thing these chemicals have in common is thy are on the same "bth salts" list.

If a man stays up for 3 days on MDPV (synthetic meth) and hurts himself or someone else, don't report it as he was smoking marijuana. Kids aren't dumb, report the information accurately and responsibly so they know what to avoid and the correct reasons why.

STOP WITH the BATH SALTS term! Its confusing and misleading.....the other drugs are bad and should not be around our children, but the largest threat is MDPV....that is the greatest evil of this problem.
July 2, 2011, 2:27 pm
worriedmother says:
my 9 year old daughter just witnessed the affects this —— does to a person and it was her father.he ended up jumping out a window and is in icu.this —— is not only ruining the lives of people using it it is also affecting the lives of the poor little children who are witnessing it.bless her heart she was a brave little girl that night!seeing my little baby when i arrived at the place is something i will never forget,nor will she this will affect her the rest of her life.she is safe home with her mom and never will leave my side.please talk with your children about all this —— if they ever question you the most important thig is to keep them safe.god bless
July 23, 2011, 9:48 am
the truth from life lived says:
You know whats really sad about everyone always debating about the drugs that these kids use. The fact that the worse drug of all is alcohol. Alcohol is responsible for more deaths, more abuses, more killings, more suicides, more homeless children and families, more kids ending up in group and hospitals, more kids saying F it, dropping out of school and involving themselves in the street life. when it comes down to it, ALCOHOL HAS CAUSED AND CAUSES MORE PAIN THEN ANY OTHER DRUG. but no one wants to fight about that
July 26, 2011, 11:51 am
Woken Up with a Call says:
My friend just called me this morning; he says white things are coming out of his pores and out of the sides of his finger nails. I believe him because when I was doing this drug these are some of the syptoms Ive noticed happening to myself. Ive stopped the drug but my body still feels messed up. Im going to get tested, already have my appointment. But if anybody can help me out to let me know what that was It would be appreciated.
Aug. 19, 2011, 10:26 am
ikarlyy from a town says:
anyone do eight ballz? that —— has me feindin like for crack. i hate that feeling and the come down. anyone know anything better that doesnt have such a "crack-like" comedown? i never did meth but im pretty sure this is freaking meth! anyone know any others with not such a bad comedown??? and which is the —— that makes you trip ballz and hallucinate? i havent experienced that kind of bath salt yet.
Aug. 20, 2011, 7:21 am
Sally from Joe says:
Yeah I've heard about dr feelgoods meditation powder off of is supposed to be hella awesome. Idk about the comedown. They say it's super strong so I'd imagine it'd be rough but that's with most salts
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:47 pm
james from nyc says:
bathsalts are stupid
May 8, 2012, 2:01 am

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