Synthetic Drugs Possibly Focus of Sex Club Raid

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas has long been a hub for drug activity, because of its 24-hour party atmosphere and nightlife.

But street drugs and prescriptions now have some company.

Workers along Highland Drive still have plenty of questions about Wednesday's raid at the Power Exchange, a sex club.

"We were in shock, looking through the window," said Vicky Newman of Fine Beauty Cosmetics.

SWAT and heavily-armed officers bombarded the sex club, seizing evidence that included possible synthetic drug compounds.

"During the day, it's very quiet," Newman said. "You don't see anything here."

The Power Exchange sex club has a policy of no drugs. An attorney representing the club said that as far as he knows, Wednesday's raid by the feds has nothing to do with the club.

The club's attorney said the building is leased, and believes those items were taken from a separate warehouse area of the building.

Police are also investigating whether the case is connected to a November 2011 bust of a multimillion dollar synthetic drug lab across the street.

At the Las Vegas Recovery Center, Dr. Mel Pohl is treating more patients hooked on synthetic drugs.

"It is a growing issue here in Las Vegas," Pohl said. "The most recent patient I can think of said that he took salvia every day for a month because he was in drug court, and it's really hard to test for this drug in the drug court system."

Bath salts, often compared to meth, and spice or salvia, a fake type of marijuana, pose serious health hazards

Lawmakers will ban certain chemical ingredients, only to have manufacturers resort to other chemicals, allowing these products to legally stay on smoke shop shelves.

"It's like a game of Whac-a-Mole," Pohl said. "One drug is illegal, so they change the drug, and it becomes legal."

Multiple search warrants were served Wednesday as part of the investigation, but all records have been sealed.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said at this point, no arrests have been made.


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