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Two men were arrested last month in a sting operation for allegedly selling illegal synthetic drugs at two Fremont smoke shops, police said today. On Oct. 23, police said a street crimes unit seized synthetic cannabinoids, known as “spice,” salvia, and synthetic stimulants, commonly referred to as “bath salts,” from Rocky’s Smoke Shop at the Crossroads Shopping Center at 39471 Fremont Blvd. and Monsters of Rock Smoke Shop at 40675 Grimmer Blvd.
The owner of Rocky’s, Vijay Patel, and the manager of Monsters of Rock, David Ghebreab, were arrested on suspicion of selling a synthetic stimulant compound and possessing concentrated cannabis, police said. Both cases are under review by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Fremont police said in total 6 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids and several grams of bath salts, with an approximate total street value of more than $25,000, were recovered during the October sting. Police said bath salt use is new territory for law enforcement as the drug gains more widespread use.
Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the department is trying to spread awareness about the bath salts that are packaged in a way that is alluring to children with bright colors and often with cartoons. Fremont police have dealt with a few prior cases of people using the drug, which often causes out of control or highly irrational behavior. On Tuesday around 10 a.m. a 24-year-old woman was found standing in the middle of the roadway on Fremont Boulevard near Becerra Drive without shoes and she could not speak or give her name to officers and would occasionally start screaming for no apparent reason, police said.
According to police, the woman appeared to be high on bath salts during the incident. She was taken to Washington Hospital in Fremont and by 3:20 a.m. when she was able to give her name, a records check showed she had behaved similarly in May 2012 at the same intersection. Anyone with information about sales of these illegal substances is asked to call Fremont police Officer D. Manrique at (510) 790-6800 or send a tip online at fremontpolice.org/tip.
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