COVINGTON -- Investigators with the Newton County Sheriff's Office have discovered a synthetic marijuana mill in a home in a subdivision in western Newton County, according to NCSO Public Information Officer Courtney Morrison.
Seized were approximately 3,000 small bags of the synthetic compound. Two arrests were made and more arrests and charges are pending, Morrison said.
Jasmine Renee Bevins, 24, and Heather Ditha Maddox, 25, were both at the residence when agents with the NCSO and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration went to the location at 85 Trelawney Place in the Trelawney subdivision off Brown Bridge Road. They were both charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, misdemeanor obstruction of a law enforcement officer and possession of drug-related items.
Morrison said the discovery of the synthetic marijuana distribution came after investigators followed up on information relating to possible drug activity at the Trelawney Place house.
"Upon further inquiry investigators were able to determine that synthetic marijuana was being made and distributed from this residence," Morrison said. "The DEA will be analyzing the seized synthetics in an effort to determine if additional charges will be brought against suspects in the case."
Morrison said that on March 27 of this year, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law that all forms of synthetic marijuana are now illegal in Georgia.
"It is a marijuana-like chemical compound combined with dried vegetation," she said, describing it. "Sometimes it has traces of actual marijuana in it."
Before the new law, manufacturers were able to tweak the formula for the synthetic marijuana and get around the law.
"That bill in March was designed to close that loophole," she said.
Sheriff Ezell Brown warned that his office is taking the matter of synthetic marijuana very seriously.
"Illegal manufactured synthetic marijuana is becoming a very serious concern to law enforcement and citizens alike," he said. "The Sheriff's Office is taking a zero tolerance stance against this criminal activity in an effort to better the quality of life for the citizens of Newton County."