By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND/ODESSA - Bath salts seem to be the drug of choice right now and the feds are taking note. In fact, they busted what they call a big dealer here in the Basin, at an adult book store.
Jimmy Wayne Wright used to run his business at the B and L Adult bookstore in West Odessa but he also had a side job.
"He was a significant distributor of bath salts in the Odessa area," Dante Sorianello, DEA Resident Agent-In-Charge, said.
New details are now coming out about a DEA raid that happened a few months ago and Wright was at the center of this investigation.
According to a federal indictment, agents had suspected Wright of having and distributing inositol.
"You can sell that item but if you're selling it with the knowledge that it's going to be used to cut cocaine or you're assisting people with that, it's a federal crime," Sorianello said.
And that's not all.
"We seized a large number of bath salts that were being sold by him," Sorianello said.
Numerous witnesses and users of bath salts pointed officials to Wright.
"The majority of them said they were purchasing these items from B and L Bookstore," Sorianello said.
The indictment said more than $241,000 in cash were found at Wright's home. Over one million dollars were seized altogether in the raid.
But even with this arrest, bath salts aren't illegal but there is a catch.
"There are certain chemicals that are used in the manufacture of certain types, if those bath salts are found to contain that substance, you could be charged with a controlled substance," Sorianello said.
But manufacturers are finding ways around this.
"By creating another chemical substance that mimics the action and reaction of that chemical substance," he said.
That's illegal too but it happens. The only way to prove it is by sending the substance to a chemical lab for testing.
But regardless if it's legal or not, Sorianello warns neither are safe.
"For whatever trend individuals are looking at, they seem to think well if I can buy it over the counter it must be ok," he said. "It is a potential threat to the community and to individuals."