John Reynolds Staff Writer @JohnReynoldsSJR
A 71-year-old Salisbury woman has been arrested by federal authorities for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana at a business in Springfield.
Letha Dean allegedly sold synthetic marijuana to undercover investigators while working at Mystic Enchantments, which was at 2828 Clear Lake Ave. in 2015 and 2016, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
Synthetic marijuana has been in the news over the past few weeks due to people throughout Illinois, mostly in the Peoria and Chicago areas, suffering severe bleeding after using the product. Three people have died.
According to the complaint, an undercover federal agent gave Dean $1,000 for 25 packets of suspected synthetic marijuana in February 2015. Subsequent testing confirmed the presence of controlled substances in the material the agent purchased.
The investigation continued into 2016. On March 22, agents executed a search warrant at the business and found suspected synthetic marijuana. Also on that day, agents searched Dean’s Salisbury home where they found more suspected synthetic marijuana, the criminal complaint said.
The next date in the criminal complaint is April 11 of this year. A confidential source allegedly called Dean and told her he had $5,000 to spend. A woman, believed to Dean, told the caller that the price had gone up from $7 to $10 per packet due to the “scare.”
“It is believed that the ‘scare’ Dean was referring to was the recent sickness and deaths that have occurred due to rat poison being put in the synthetic cannabinoids,” the complaint stated.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says that as of Monday, 131 people have reported suffering severe bleeding after using the drug. A total of 78 of the cases originated in Tazewell or neighboring Peoria county. Many of the cases tested positive for a lethal anticoagulant often