Self Storage Crime Watch: Storing (and Snorting) Bath Salts

CJ Moore | Jun 03, 2011 @ 04:30 PM

Looking for some bath salts? Careful where you purchase them.

Last month at New Market Mini Storage in New Market, Md., the Baltimore Sun reported that federal authorities seized materials that were being used to make substances packaged as bath salts and herbal potpourri; only the bath salts are actually a synthetic drug that when inhaled has effects similar to cocaine, and the herbal potpourri is doctored vegetable matter commonly marketed as synthetic marijuana. The drugs are sold online with names like “Snowblind Bath Salts," "Zombie World" and "Dark Night Sampler."

Soak in it? I’d rather not. And the customers purchasing the salts aren’t getting duped – just doped. It’s a new drug culture that thanks to the Internet has made it more difficult to trace who is selling and who’s buying (check out this article).

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was able to track down the operation at the storage unit thanks to two arrests Howard County police had previously made of two women, Blair Amanda Beebe and Sara Pelter. Beebe and Pelter tried to pick up packages that contained drug ingredients at 11 UPS stores around Baltimore and Washington. A UPS employee noticed that the packages were sent to fake businesses and in suspicious packages and notified authorities.

The DEA took it from there and Beebe led detectives to Mahd “Moe” Abu Jamous, who Beebe and Pelter were picking the packages up for. Jamous rents the storage unit that the DEA raided.

Jamous manages retail websites where he sells the drugs, one of which is http://www.spice99.com. Since the raid, the Spice99 website has had a message that tells customers all orders as of May 3 have not been processed because of a significant warehouse fire (or government raid... pretty much the same thing.)

Since the Baltimore Sun article ran, there has been an update on the Spice99 site that reads:

“As Of May 23, 2011 We Are Still Not Up In Operation, The Fire Damage Was A Little Bit More Severe The More That It Was Looked Into, We Are Pushing For Construction* To Be Completed Sometime This Week And We Are Pushing For First Week In June To Be Shipping Out Orders. Thank You For Your Patience And Be Sure To Check Out Our Selection Of Glass Pipes and Sexual Enhancements.”

*Or searching for a new undetectable storage unit.

Lesson to be learned: If you’re shopping for bath salts on a site that also advertises glass pipes and sexual enhancements and ships from a storage facility, proceed with caution.

Jokes aside… Should the facility manager have picked up on what was going on inside Jamous’ unit? How can self storage managers weed out suspect renters? Have you ever noticed other renters storing questionable things? Share your thoughts below.