(WSAZ Photo/Ryan Bloomfield)
UPDATE 2/14/13 @ 6 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- No arrests have been made yet after Wednesday's drug raid in Ashland, but police and prosecutors are now going through the evidence they've collected.
Police raided Dark Wings, a novelty shop, on Wednesday night and found illegal drugs, possible synthetic drugs and pipes, scales and other tools to use and sell the drugs. The store has been under investigation for months, police said.
Two customers who showed up to Dark Wings on Thursday, only to discover it was closed, told WSAZ.com that the store was a typical "head shop" that sold potpourri, tobacco pipes, jewelry, incense and posters.
Before any charges can be filed, Ashland Police said the Kentucky State Police will test the synthetic drugs to find out what they are. They believe some of them are synthetic marijuana and synthetic salvia. The charges may depend on the amount of the drugs and how extensive the sale of them was.
"We're working with the county and commonwealth attorney here in Boyd County to try to find out the necessary route for prosecution," Ashland Police Department Major Todd Kelley said.
But police say prosecuting synthetic drug cases can be tedious because the laws aren't clear-cut. In most drug cases, the schedule and amount of the drug determine the charge. With synthetic drugs, though, their ingredients can change -- making it hard to figure out whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
While synthetic drugs are illegal in Kentucky, changing just one ingredient can affect its status under the law. The same is true in Ohio and West Virginia, which have similar laws after synthetic drugs appeared on the scene within the past few years. Police say the laws don't keep up with the situations they face.
"We're literally chasing the law with the contents of this material," Kelley said.
Police and prosecutors are taking the investigation slowly and methodically. They said they hope this will lead to the right charges being filed.
Officers obtained a search warrant for Dark Wings novelty shop and seized known illegal narcotics, suspected illegal synthetic narcotics and drug paraphernalia, according to APD Maj. Todd Kelley.
The raid began about 6 p.m. Wednesday. No one had been arrested as of late Wednesday night.
The investigation is ongoing as officers continue their search.
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