Authorities said a seven-year investigation led to a raid on a Mechanicsburg business after they found the Magical Incense Shop was selling far more than what it advertised.
Police believe the merchandise confiscated Friday, despite labels of "Spice" and "Jewelry Cleaner," is illegal synthetic drugs designed to mimic the effects of narcotics such as crystal meth.
Authorities said at least 66 complaints involving the shop have been made since 2008, most of them because of erratic customers. Even as police searched the store, prosecutors said people were showing up to buy.
"They're bringing their children. One person showed up in an ankle
monitor. They are all lined up around the door waiting to get their
drugs," Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney Jaime Keating said.
Prosecutors have not charged store owner Ted Zeiders, but have searched his home and his bank records.
"The Mechanicsburg police have bent over backwards trying to ensure that
Zeiders applied with the law, going as far as to warn him that he was
selling things he should not have been selling," Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said.
Authorities said the shop was also selling marijuana pipes and other illegal drug paraphernalia.
"We can play all the games that we want and talk about smoking tobacco," Freed said. "These are not devices used to smoke tobacco. This is drug paraphernalia"
The criminal investigation will continue for several more months because the seized merchandise must be tested.
A civil hearing to determine the future of the business will be held next week.
"I hope that we are successful in the civil injunction," Mechanicsburg Police Chief David Spotts said. "I hope that it
sticks. I hope that it stays. I hope he is put out of business
permanently. Our town will be a better place for that."