4 Charged in Synthetic Marijuana ODs - NECN


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4 Charged in Synthetic Marijuana ODs

Police say Four people were arrested Tuesday and more arrests were expected after a bad batch of the synthetic street drug K2 to 12 overdoses (Published Wednesday, May 6, 2015)

Four people have been arrested and two others are in custoody after tainted K2, or synthetic marijuana, sent 12 people to the hospital in Willimantic on Monday, according to police.

Willimantic police said they responded to a dozen cases Monday after residents ingested the drug, believed to be laced with another substance, and exhibited psychotic behavior.

Authorities received a tip that identified Thomas Gasper Jr., 39, as a suspect. The tip indicated that drugs were being sold from the home at 28 Arnolds Lane in Willimantic, so investigators set up surveillance and saw Gasper handing over drugs to someone on the porch, police said.

Investigators also stopped a vehicle in connection to the case and arrested the three people inside: Vanessa Torruella, 22, of Willimantic, Jessica Klein, 31, of Willimantic, and Justin Blantz, of Willimantic. Police said they seized K2 during the stop.

Authorities who searched 28 Arnolds Lane found several brands of K2, money, scales, packaging material and a large drain pan with K2 residue that police said was used as a mixing bowl, according to police.

Police said some of the K2 was packaged to sell, while some was still in the original brand packaging. In all, it is believed to be worth $500.  

Gasper has been charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory and operation of a drug factory.

He has been previously convicted on a narcotics chage. Gasper's bond was originally set at $250,000, but he is now being held on $50,000 bond and is due back in court on June 16.

Torruella, Klein and Blantz are due in court on May 14.

Police have not publicly identified the two other people in custody but said they expect to file charges against them as well.