With the search and seizure of a large number of herbal mixtures, the police and the public prosecutor's office in bamberg have now sent a clear signal in the fight against a corresponding store in the city center of forchheim.
Numerous teens and young adults have required medical treatment after consuming herbal mixtures in recent months. A preliminary investigation is underway against the operators for offenses under the narcotics act, the police and the public prosecutor's office announced in a joint press release.
Especially many affected
Volker braun of the commissioner's office IV of the criminal police bamberg said in an interview with the FT in april this year: "at the moment it is indeed the case that there have been increased incidents in forchheim. In 2016 alone there have been 40 traps so far. Basically, it is not that you can say that it only affects forchheim, but that it affects scenes. It may of course be related to the fact that in forchheim at the moment the availability is there. In one or two months, the scene may also have shifted, for example, to the bamberg area." A relocation could now be imminent due to current developments.
At the end of february, the operators opened the store in forchheim's city center.
Quickly becoming a problem
As early as march, rescue services and police reported an increased number of incidents involving people who were staggering around in a state of intoxication, sometimes completely disoriented, lying on the floor and asleep, or who had to be taken to hospital in a comatose state, according to police and the public prosecutor's office.
The police in forchheim, but also rescue services and doctors, described the situation as worrying. Since the rescue workers often don't know what substance triggered the condition, it was also difficult for them to counteract it. In march a round table with representatives of the security authorities, as well as the public prosecutor's office and the police took place. This was repeated in may with an expanded group of participants.
It was particularly noticeable that a large number of the emergency medical services took place in the immediate vicinity of the store ("headshop"). By increasing the number of checks in the immediate vicinity of the store, the police in forchheim were initially able to counter this development.
Volker braun explained during the interview in april that it was difficult to take action against the store. The problem: many herbal mixtures are legal, but some are illegal.
From the outside, you can't tell from the herbs that are sprinkled with a chemical substance what active ingredient they contain. The chemical substance is the invisible but dangerous part of the herbal mixtures.
"At the moment, we always only know after the fact whether something was illegal or not", said braun. As a result of the strikingly large number of incidents in the vicinity of the store, the authorities love to examine random samples of the herb mixtures sold by the bavarian state criminal office.
When in the meantime last week again two 20 year old males were arrested after the consumption of so called "legal highs" when the police arrived at the hospital and discovered a connection with the herb store, they searched the premises and seized all the packages of herb mixtures in order to avert danger. After the commissioned expert opinion has meanwhile confirmed the suspicion of substances relevant under narcotics law in parts of the "legal highs confirmed, the public prosecutor's office bamberg initiated a preliminary investigation for illegal trade in narcotics against the operators of the store, write police and prosecutor's office in their press release.
At the request of the bamberg public prosecutor's office, a search warrant was issued on monday for the business and private rooms of the operators. During the execution of the warrants, the officers of the public prosecutor's office and the criminal investigation department of bamberg found, in addition to numerous packages of herbal mixtures, a coarse quantity of cannabis as well as cash in the five-digit euro range.
The investigations by the public prosecutor's office in bamberg and the criminal investigation department continue.
The operators have closed their store for the time being. At the door of the store is referred to vacations.
The police also point out that consumers can also commit offences by purchasing and possessing such products.