The owner of a vinyl record and CD store in Anniston is arrested, and his shop raided, amid allegations he has been selling synthetic drugs often known as "spice."
Carl Lackey is charged with a felony count of distribution of a controlled substance, and Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson says more charges could be forthcoming.
Deputies spent the day seizing and cataloging numerous items at Cosmic Debris, including what appeared to be packets of the alleged "spice" drugs. They also confiscated so-called "bong" pipes, rolling papers, money and the store's computer. It took a considerable amount of time to load the items into boxes and load the boxes into the back of a pickup truck.
The business is known for selling vinyl records and CDs, along with incense, clothing and other items. Posters evoking such rock legends as Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana line its walls. It's known throughout Anniston and even other counties for its iconic, multi-colored elephant statue that sits in the parking lot of the store on South Quintard Avenue.
Amerson, however, invoke a 1960s term for the store. He calls it a "head shop."
"They sell pipes and other supplies that people who might use illegal substances would buy to enhance their experience," said Amerson.
Amerson says the investigation into the shop has been going on for some time, and included undercover buys. He also says it's the first bust of its kind since the state legislature recently passed a new law to clear up issues involving "synthetic drugs."
A number of customers showed up during the raid and found the doors locked by law enforcement. They said they weren't surprised at the outcome, and said Lackey appeared to even be making his own drug.
Amerson says his department is looking into that, and says the chemistry behind that is easy, with Youtube videos that explain how to do it.
But he says there are side effects, and suspects similar drugs played roles in the suicides of some young people in the area. He says they also cause seizures and hallucinations.
Amerson says they can be inexpensive to make and can turn a big profit.
Lackey was led away from his store in handcuffs as the deputies loaded up the last of their evidence. He had no comment for reporters waiting outside.
But authorities say this wasn't his first brush with the law. Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew Wade says he personally worked on a case brought by the recording industry, in which Lackey was accused of selling bootlegged music in his store.
Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive