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I-10 traffic stop lands man in jail on suspicion of drug charges

Earlier this year Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law aimed at expanding the state's laws controlling so-called synthetic drugs. The law became effective on August 1, and extends to a wider variety of compounds that authorities say are synthetic forms of pot and other substances often referred to as bath salts.

After that law took effect last week, authorities in West Baton Rouge made a traffic stop on Interstate 10, in which police seized evidence that authorities hope is covered under the new synthetic pot law. Although law enforcement apparently has not tested the substance grabbed during the traffic stop, a 35-year-old Chalmette man was jailed Thursday night on suspicion of drug crimes--he was held on a $1 million bond.

The alleged synthetic drug bust allegedly occurred during a traffic stop for speeding and careless driving offenses. When police approached the minivan on westbound I-10, authorities claim that it was stuffed with what police suspect may be synthetic pot.

Authorities claim that the material seen inside the van appeared to be packaged to appeal to young people.

The driver of the minivan was arrested on suspicion possession of synthetic pot with the intent to distribute. The total amount of seized material exceeds 325 pound, according to the Iberville Parish Sheriff. Chemical analysis of the seized substance apparently has not been completed.

Officials say that Iberville Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish deputies were working together in conducting the speeding and careless driving traffic stop. The Thursday evening traffic stop occurred on the same day that the new law expanding synthetic drug crimes to include more compounds took effect.

Source: The Advocate, "WBR traffic stop nets $1.4 million in synthetic marijuana," Aug. 3, 2013

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