HARRISVILLE -- Two smoke shops in Harrisville were raided and several hundred packages of illegal spice-type potpourri were seized by police Tuesday.
Law officers served search warrants at Smoke Break, 1150 North and U.S. Highway 89, and Smoke Shop at 539 N. Harrisville Road, said Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson.
All the potpourri at the stores was seized and business licenses were revoked by Harrisville, effectively shutting down the shops. There were no arrests.
The cases will be referred to the Weber County Attorney's Office for the possible filing of felony distribution charges against the owners of the stores, Jackson said. The owners of the businesses have not been identified.
Smoke Break and Smoke Shop are the only two businesses in Harrisville known to be selling spice-type substances, Jackson said.
Tuesday's raid capped a six-month investigation that included purchases by undercover officers, Jackson said.
In addition, the shop owners were notified by a police letter in December 2011 that selling spice-type substances is illegal. The owners were also warned that police would be conducting undercover spice buys and that Harrisville would seek to revoke the business licenses for shops found in violation of anti-spice laws.
The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and Utah Department of Public Safety conducted undercover buy operations at the two smoke shops starting in April, with the most recent one occurring Monday.
The items seized from the shops were marketed as potpourri, but contain chemicals consistent with spice, Jackson said. When smoked, spice produces the high of "marijuana on steroids," he said.
There have been several recent traffic accidents and impaired driving incidents caused by spice in Harrisville.
In early May, a teenage male was in a vehicle at a stop sign at the entrance of Harrisville Heights and West Harrisville Road. The youth accelerated across the road, over the sidewalk, through a lawn, took out a mailbox and struck the porch of a residence, Jackson said.
He fled on foot and was found about a block from the scene of the accident. He admitted to using spice and said he feared that a group of people were after him, said Jackson.
"The field sobriety test results for spice users are consistent with marijuana but are more distinctive and pronounced," he said. "It's definitely a problem."