Police Raid Lombard Smoke Shop Selling Fake Pot, Bath Salts

LOMBARD, Ill. (CBS) — Police raided a smoke shop near Lombard and arrested the owners this week, after they were found to be selling synthetic pot and bath salts.

DuPage county Sheriff’s police busted Sergio’s Discount Smoke Shop, at 21-W-500 North Ave. in unincorporated Lombard, on Dec. 15.

Armed with a search warrant, police seized more than $1 million of synthetic marijuana – under the names K2, Spice and Red Magic – and bath salts, under the names Charley Sheene and Ultra – along with drug paraphernalia and $5,000 in cash.

Police arrested owner George Rantis, 49, of St. Charles, and manager Sergio Delcid, 46, of Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. Both were charged with one drug manufacturing and delivery of over 200 grams, a Class X felony.

Owner George Rantis (left) and manager Sergio Delcid of Sergio's Smoke Shop in unincorporated Lombard are charged with selling synthetic marijuana and bath salts. (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff's Office)

This was the first time DuPage County police executed a search warrant for such synthetic drugs.

Since New Year’s, selling synthetic marijuana has been a felony in Illinois. It is typically sold as potpourri or herbal incense, and until Jan. 1 was readily available even in convenience stores and gas stations.

The statewide move to ban the substance has been dubbed “Max’s Law,” following a tragic crash in North Aurora.

Max Dobner, 19, bought synthetic marijuana at a west suburban mall and experienced a panic attack, with rapid heartbeat and hallucinations after using it. He drove his car at 100 miles per hour into a home in the far west suburb.

In fact, many experts have said synthetic marijuana is actually far more dangerous than real marijuana. Those who use the synthetic products can suffer seizures, hallucinations, tremors, paranoia, convulsions, high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate, according to Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s office.

So-called bath salts have been illegal since July of last year. They often contain powerful stimulants such as mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), neither of which have a history of actually being used as bath products.

Those who smoke bath salts or snort lines of them to get high end up suffering from “elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure; very agitated, very confused patients,” Arthur Kubic of the Illinois Poison Control Center said last year.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • Joe in Missouri

    So proud of these Storm troopers busting up a business that was harming no one and paying taxes. Now after destroying these men’s lives and families the tax payer will pay to take care of all of them. Perhaps for generations to come.

    Good job storm troopers! Keep protecting the public from the smoke shops!

    • David

      I totally agree, Joe. Potpourri and bath salts? It says right on the packaging that it’s not for human consumption. That should be enough to cover the butts of those selling or manufacturing these products. This law should have never been passed. What about spraypaint, model glue, gasoline, and any other product that is used to catch a buzz?

      • Cousin in mourning

        It also says on the packaging that hallucinations, increased heart rate, panic attacks, etc. can be experienced when taken. PLUS, why would a smoke shop be selling “bath salts” and “potpourri”? Honestly, give me a break. A smoke shop owner convinced my cousin’s friend that because it wasn’t illegal it was safe. They put that stuff right next to the cash register hoping that you’ll buy it. And his friend told him the same thing that shop owner told her, and he agreed with that statement. I lost my cousin because he did potpourri, got into his car, sped, and went into a house. He was going to be a psychiatrist and help people.

    • Joe in Missouri

      Cousin first of all psychiatrist don’t help people IMHO. They push some very dangerous drugs on people. The same logic you attribute to your cousin applies. Just because it’s not illegal does not make it safe. Psychiatrist are the protected pushers of dangerous drugs in our society and should be prosecuted for not fully informing their victims.

      How about sending a lot of executives and government FDA people to prison for 30,000 Vioxx deaths? They out right lied and falsified information to the customer. No prosecutions!!! For 30,000 murders!!

      The K2 manufactures are telling the truth on their labels with a handful of deaths mainly the customers fault for misusing the product and and everyone wants to prosecute them.

      What is wrong with this picture?

      If this store owner did make false statements then he should face either civil or criminal penalties. But no penalties at all for selling a product that was fairly represented in the free market. People have to be responsible for their own actions. What a freaking radical idea in the land of the slave.

  • hey you

    Harming no one? K2 has put a number of people in the hospital including a friend of mine younger brother. The manufacturers of that stuff are skirting the law in order to make a buck and unfortunately the smoke shops and gas station owners and managers are the ones getting arrested for it. Instead of complaining about Dupage County Cops doing their jobs, go after the manufacturers of K2.

    • Joe in Missouri

      If your brother was harmed – he harmed himself – not the shop owner. If your brother was huffing gasoline would you suggest we arrest Exon/Mobile?
      Personal responsibility is a lost concept to dumbed down Americans. Damaged people should sue the manufacturer for damages if their was not a warning on the product, just like you would do if the food you ate at a restaurant had salmonella.

      If anyone is criminal in this situation it’s the legislature of IL and the cops for making the absolutely safe Mary Jane illegal thus forcing people to use less safe alternatives.

      The government brings in most of the drugs and I think the real motive for this prosecution is that they do not get their cut like they do on the Pot from Mexico or the opium from Afghanistan that they help bring in. Both are undeniable admitted facts reported in the mainstream media.

      Go after the real culprits and criminals…. your state legislature.

  • patriot

    @hey you – Then lets go ahead and ban alcohol… It’s hurt plenty of my family memebers and a drunk driver put my friend in a wheel chait. BANNING THINGS DOES NOT WORK! HAVE WE NOT LEARNED OUR LESSON WITH POT AND COKE? both are illegal but i can get some in under an hour.

  • mom

    smoke shop owners should all be in jail.only thing their doing is selling to minors

    • Joe in Missouri

      I repeat If pot were legal there would be a much safer alternative. But pot is illegal because the government makes too much money on it being illegal.

      Also what goes into the body of a minor is something between the minor and the parent, it’s not the business of the government at all. In Europe any one of any age may buy alcohol. It is up to the parents to monitor their kids drinking. And guess what? They have a lower rate of alcohol abuse than we do.

    • Cousin in mourning

      I couldn’t agree more! Plus, they know that what they are selling is dangerous

      • Joe in Missouri

        Cousin your statement is very ambiguous so I will assume you are agreeing with Mom. It was never the purpose of government to protect us from our own stupidity. If that were the case all cars would be illegal and only government public transit to be allowed and believe it or not this is actually in the plans as part of the UN agenda 21. You and Mom will love the NWO my friend as they will protect you from everything… or so they say.

        There are 2 kinds of people in the world Cousin. Those that want to be left alone and those nebby SOB’s that will not leave anyone alone. Mom definitely falls into the second category.

    • chris

      That is opinion, no facts, stated. Problem with America is that people like you over state your opinions with such conviction that you believe it to be true. Open your eyes. All owners of Bars should be arrested for getting people drunk and putting them in their car. Or should I say responsibility is opinion. Right and wrong is not majority rules, or is it? This country was founded to where the voice of one would still be heard even if the majority believes it to be true. If majority opinion was right we would still be an English Colony, Slavery would still be legal and women wouldn’t be able to vote. Read and live the constitution for it took a lot of time for our founding fathers to write it. To live it? That’s opinions you and I don’t get to discuss. Take the power and give it to the people.

  • VanillaLatte

    All these smoke shops are doing is killing teenagers.

    • Joe in Missouri

      I repeat If pot were legal there would be a much safer alternative. But pot is illegal because the government makes too much money on it being illegal.

      Also what goes into the body of a minor is something between the minor and the parent, it’s not the business of the government at all. In Europe any one of any age may buy alcohol. It is up to the parents to monitor their kids drinking. And guess what? They have a lower rate of alcohol abuse than we do.

  • mom

    police should come to joliet on jefferson st the smoke shops here should be called drive thrus when i was their i was the only adult in the place saw them selling to minors no one was carded and they were giving advice on how to beat drug test to a girl that was all of 16.

  • VanillaLatte

    People shouldn’t be selling those things in the first place, look up how many people have died or been hurt by using those things. Especially when half the places don’t I.D kids. If you had a kid and something happened to him/her because a tobacco shop sold him/her synthetic pot or even bath salts you wouldn’t be mad right? It would be your kids fault? I know all about this.. It IS the smoke shops fault for selling all these things that are going to kill teenagers. Yes, it is the teenagers fault for using it, but at the same time, we wouldn’t have this problem if tobacco stores weren’t so selfish and greedy and only cared about making as much money as possible without realizing what they were actually doing to families who have to go through all the side effects or losing a child because of it.

  • VanillaLatte

    At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be using drugs period. Until you have a child or someone close to you die, end up in the hospital, have bad side effects, or go through withdrawals than you would not understand. Until that happens to you, you shouldn’t talk about things you know nothing about. Yes its the state legislature that banned Real Marijuana, but it isn’t like they were like “Oh hey, since we banned real marijuana let’s sell synthetic pot and bath salts” All smoke shops are are drug shops, I had to see people in line who got drinks that would make them pass a drug test, it was a girl who was about 14 or 15 years old, not only that but they have “kush bombs” Pills that were a form of vicodin, fake pot, bath salts and everything else. Let me remind you they sold to it kids that were no older than 16. It’s sickening to see that this generation of teenagers are resorting to all these synthetic drugs that are going to kill them just to get high or have fun. It’s hard when you have to deal with worrying about if your sons father will be alive still at the end of the night. And when your stomach is in knots because your expecting a call saying that somethings happened and hes either dead or in the hospital. Once you go through any of that, let me know how you feel.

  • jun

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  • Bill Gannon

    Why didn’t the police make George take his hat off for the mug shot?

  • Stephen Lee

    So ridiculous. IT ALL SAYS NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Ive been going to msoke shops for years and all the other surrounding shops sell to underage kids and sell REALLY HARMFUL STUFF, not at their stores…These guys do a lot for the community that I am sure people don’t know/will never hear about. They don’t go after all the Muslim shops, but they go after them. Ridiculous.

    • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights

      If you wanted to really go after drug pushers that do much harm and BTW many times are immune from prosecution even when they negligently kill people, because they bought legislatures and had laws to that effect passed – it would be the likes of:
      Merk, Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

      But American are too damn stupid they would rather go after people that compete with the government bringing in their various street drugs. Just like the government wants you to. The hegalian dialectic at work again.

  • Russell Smiley

    Wow, I can’t believe it, I used to be their customer. I was addicted to mephedrone along with all the other bath salts, then the headshop owner got me hooked on something even harder, synthetic Crystal Meth. That’s pretty much what this stuff is, Meth Amphetamine. Their was one time when I bought this stuff and I must of bought at least 50g. The shop owner pretendeed like he really cared about me. I then came back 4 days later to buy some more. I was so messed up from all the bath salts, didn’t even think they would sell to me. The manager riding his Moter Cycle parked and glance at me in the car, boy did he have a huge Grin on his face. He already knew I was hooked. I bought another 20-30 grams. I couldn’t even speak to this people and when I pulled out my money, powder fell on the counter. They still sold to me though. These guys were pretty much dealing Crystal Meth. The only difference is that this stuff was legal. I don’t do this stuff anymore, but glad to see that justice was served.

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