Two Oxford men have been arrested on drug charges following an investigation that began after local high school students had adverse reactions to using synthetic marijuana in vaping devices.
The Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office and the Oxford Police Department began the investigation into the distribution of 4-fluoro MDMB-BUTINACA, which is a synthetic Cannabinoid commonly referred to as Spice or K2 after several high school students from local high schools had adverse reactions to the drug.
Some students had to be transported to a local hospital after using the drug. All students were ultimately released.
Investigators were able to make undercover drug purchases of the Spice from a local convenient store/gas station which lead to a search warrant at the apartment of Amar Saidi, 35, and Farooq Elshareqi, 34, located at the Links Apartments in Oxford.
Investigators seized numerous vape pens marked with “12 monkey cbd” on them which contained the synthetic cannabinoid (Spice/K2).
Spice/K2 has been reported to cause psychoactive effects similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient in marijuana and has caused adverse events including death.
Investigators seized $2,594, two rifles and two handguns during the search warrant at the Links.
Lafayette County Sheriff Joey East said that the Spice/K2 seized in this investigation is chemically similar to marijuana but it has a much different effect on users which causes some users to have to be hospitalized.
East advises parents of students who allow them to vape, thinking it is safer than smoking, to be aware that many students will use legal vape products and then put Spice/K2 into an empty vape cartridge.
Students have exhibited confusion, psychotic and violent behavior, seizures and loss of consciousness after using Spice/K2 purchased locally in Oxford, East said.
Both Saidi and Elshareqi SAIDI were taken into custody on March 25 and have since made bond. Presently, only Saidi was charged with the distribution of a synthetic cannabinoid. Elshareqi was charged with other drug violations.