ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A joint operation in Flagler and St. Johns counties is cracking down on synthetic drugs.
Investigators served 11 search warrants as part of a seven-month undercover investigation targeting the unlicensed sale of tobacco products and synthetic products.
It's all part of Operation Bad Dreamer.
Five people have been arrested and charged with violating state racketeering laws, sale of controlled substances, delivery of drug paraphernalia, tobacco tax evasion, and leasing and maintaining property used in the manufacturing of controlled substances.
"There is an obvious increase in the use of these type of drugs," said Sheriff David Shoar. "As law enforcement continues to address this type of criminal activity, there has been an identifiable increase in the types of abnormal behavior and violence associated with the use of synthetic drugs to include bath salts."
The suspects face up to 60 years in prison if convicted.
Another six people have been taken into custody on other charges.
"It is essential that we do everything possible to keep people from using these illegal substances and that we continue to actively pursue anyone responsible for manufacturing or selling these dangerous synthetic compounds," said Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre.