A Belpre man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for possession of 50 packets of bath salts following the execution of a search warrant by the Major Crimes Task Force.
Michael E. Packard, 45, of 511 Walnut St., was charged with a second-degree felony count of possession of a bulk amount of MDPV. He remains in the Washington County jail pending his initial court appearance at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
"This is an investigation we've been working on for probably the last two or three months," said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
According to police, officers observed Packard retrieving a small package from his mailbox.
Receipt of the package triggered the execution of the search warrant, where Task Force agents discovered 49 unopened packets of bath salts.
Task Force agents also found one open packet of bath salts that they said may have been being prepared for consumption.
"We believe that there have been several deliveries here," Mincks said.
Packard acknowledged receiving the items in the mail, but claimed the substance was a glass cleaner and legal in all 50 states, police said.
A field test of the powder in the open packet resulted in a positive indication for MDPV, the banned substance in bath salts.
Bath salts have an effect similar to methamphetamine, and can cause delusions and hallucinations. People under the influence of bath salts have jumped out of second story windows and believed they were covered in snakes or bugs, Mincks said.
The packets received by Packard were each roughly a half gram. On the street, half gram packets of bath salts sell for anywhere between $50 and $85.
Bath salts are also dangerous as the active ingredient in the drug varies in each package of the drug, even if they're both half gram packets.
"The quality control on these is very bad," Mincks explained. "You may get a half a gram that contains a lot of the MDPV, and then you may have another one that contains very little of the active ingredient."