Hartford police are cracking down on the growing problem of synthetic marijuana. They conducted an undercover sting on Tuesday and gave NBC Connecticut an exclusive look into the operation.
Undercover officers went into store after store around the city attempting to buy the dangerous and illegal drug.
"It's difficult to say ultimately how big of a problem it is because we're not always able to find out what it is someone's using, what they ingested, why are they intoxicated," said Lt. Brandon O'Brien.
With overdoses on the rise around Connecticut and the country, the Hartford police department's vice and narcotics unit is trying to curtail the problem and raise awareness about the hazardous effects of the drug.
"Not to use it, not to sell it, not to have it present in your stores, on your person, on the street. We don't want people to get sick, hurt or killed because of something like this," said O'Brien.
While officers left most stores empty handed, that was not the case at City Gas on White Street in Hartford. Police made one arrest inside the store after buying the drug.
Police say their efforts to keep synthetic marijuana out of Hartford will continue in the hopes of keeping residents safe.
"We'll go to where the activity takes us," said O'Brien.