County Wide Synthetic Drug Sweep

Hello Rialto Now readers. A year or so ago the city of Rialto revised its prior Municipal Code that would assist the Police in combatting the Sale of Synthetic Drugs like “SPICE” & “BATHSALTS”. Prior laws were seen to have no teeth because they focused on the chemical compound. This was frustrating to law makers and police because the criminals making this drug would simply change the chemical compound ever so slightly making the law unaplicable.

What Rialto did was go after the MARKETING of these drugs. Thus making even having it for sale in your business illegal. So once Rialto Police Department began to educate the Smoke Shops and Liquor Stores on the new law they saw very little of the product. Last year a Eisenhower High School student was given some “SPICE” and nearly went into cardiac arrest while his friends tried to slip him by the classroom teacher. After this incident Rialto Police SCAT team preformed undercover buys and places known to sell the product and issued 2 warnings.

These warnings were not adhered to and three businesses were found to still be selling “SPICE” to your children. Rialto PD levied fines and confiscated their product. I they are found to still be selling these narcotics they can have their business license revoked and they would be shut down.

Since then, other local communities have reviewed and adopted similar ordinances. This is a big deal because our State and Federal Legislator refuse to deal with this issue and make it a ACTUAL CRIME. The Rialto Community Coalition has been a catalyst in pushing this Municipal Code forward and helping make it a success. Michael Townsend with Mental Health Systems is the facilitator of the Rialto Community Coalition. Mr. Townsend said of the “SPICE” Ordnance:

Rialto’s revised synthetic drug ordinance addresses the way criminals so cleverly attempt to maneuver around federal and state laws.  Though chemists have developed different chemical compounds that will have the same effect as the outlawed chemical compounds in order to skirt the law, Rialto has had the foresight to address the problem by focusing on the marketing aspect of synthetic drug sales. It’s shameful that our youth are targeted and are often susceptible to the ploys of ruthless individuals motivated purely by money and without regard to the health and welfare of others. Policy makers in Rialto deserve our applause for taking leadership to protect our youth.  Michael A. Townsend, Central Valley Prevention Program

Below you will find a link to the story ABC 7 did with one of the shop owners as well as the Press Release that the SB Sheriffs Dept. put out on the shop visits. Listen to this shop owner tell you that he is more interested in making quick money at the expense of you child’s life and health.

Below you will find Cpl. Cameron Nelson explains the spice ordnance.


Members of a designated Sheriff’s Department task force, aimed at the eradication of dangerous synthetic drugs, will serve warning letters to area businesses advising them the sales of “bath salts” or “spice” – as they are commonly called – will not be permitted in the county. Deputies will be delivering letters Wednesday, October 23, to area smoke shops and liquor stores in an effort to educate business owners of the legal ramifications of selling synthetic drugs. The letters will outline state law banning the sale of synthetic drugs and give the owners an opportunity to dispose of the specified product in a safe and legal fashion. Businesses served on Wednesday will have the opportunity to voluntarily submit any “spice” or “bath salts” they may be selling and avoid criminal prosecution. “Some business owners may not understand exactly what they are selling,” Sheriff John McMahon said. “We want to educate them on the law and the dangers of synthetic drugs so they do not put the residents of this county – or their business – in jeopardy.” “Spice” and “bath salts” – also known as “designer drugs” – have been scientifically formulated to create the same effects of more common drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamine or PCP. But these “fake” substances are not detected on standard drug tests because they are a synthetic imitation. For this reason, abuse tends to run rampant in the military and other professions in which drug testing is a common occurrence. The Sheriff’s Department has worked closely with various residents involved in local coalitions throughout the County who are concerned about the covert effect synthetic drugs have had on their community.  These dedicated community members have been a driving force in garnering awareness of this problem and opening law enforcement’s eyes to the extent of possible sales in the county, McMahon said. Spice is a mixture of herbs sprayed with the synthetic chemicals that is usually smoked. Bath salts are synthetic chemicals in a powder or crystal form that are usually snorted or injected. These highly addictive, synthetic drugs are marketed as potpourri, decorative sand, shoe deodorizers or glass cleaner; however they have nothing in common with the products they are advertised to be. They are packaged using bright colors and cartoon characters in an obvious ploy to attract children. “These drugs are affecting two segments of the population who deserve the most protection: our children and the brave men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces,” McMahon said. One of the most common effects of these drugs is homicidal and suicidal tendencies, making them extremely dangerous for law enforcement officials who are called to respond to those who may be under the influence of spice or bath salts. The effects of these synthetic, or “designer” drugs, range greatly because there is no prescribed dosage on any of the packages. Users have been known to suffer cardiac arrest, brain seizures, tremors, and excited delirium.  Others have extraordinary strength, similar to the effects associated with the use of PCP, making the Taser and other force options ineffective. While producers of bath salts promise a euphoric high, similar to cocaine or methamphetamine, the psychotic results of the synthetic drugs are far more severe and addictive.
For more information contact:  Jodi Miller, PIO (909)387-3599 or Lolita Harper, Deputy at (909)387-0633.  For IMMEDIATE information please e-mail: or
John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

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