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Designer Drug Crackdown: Police Make Bath Salts Arrest

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- Months ago, KTLA's special investigation into narcotic bath salts shined light on the underground drug craze that has killed young people across the country.

This week, Southern California law enforcement has taken a zero-tolerance stance against the narcotic and Los Angeles police busted a local smoke shop in a designer drug crackdown and made a misdemeanor arrest in the process.

Los Angeles bath salt sales were banned in October but many shops failed to pull the product off their shelves. A special report Tuesday took viewers inside an LAPD bust of a smoke shop still selling the drug.

Wearing bulletproof vests and tactical gear, an undercover police unit served a search warrant and arrested a 20-year-old bath salts pusher at "Buzz R Us," a smoke shop on Melrose Avenue.

"We are taking a proactive stance in bath salts," said Lt. John King.

Police found about 75 packages of the drug in a locked filing cabinet in the shop. The packages were labeled, "energizing aromatherapy powder."

The LAPD isn’t the only agency taking a stand against bath salt sales. At the same time as the LAPD bust at "Buzz R Us," the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies served three other search warrants to stores in Palmdale and Lancaster who allegedly sold the substance to undercover officers.

DEA agents confiscated about 500 doses of the drug.

No matter how easy it is to get or what it is called, experts insist the drug is deceiving, addictive and deadly.

Police arrested a 20-year-old clerk during the "Buzz R Us" bust. He has since been released on bail and is awaiting a court date while the smoke shop remains open for business.

Selling Bath salts is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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