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On Thursday, members of the Rowan County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit and the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Unit executed a state issued search warrant at 355 Alana Drive, Rockwell, and arrested three people on drug trafficking charges related to bath salts, also known as MDPV.
The sheriff's office had received information from concerned citizens that Michael Todd Bramblett, age 44, was distributing large amounts of bath salts from his residence, and a former business in which he was involved in China Grove, North Carolina.
Bath salts is a term used to describe a number of designer drugs often containing substituted cathinones, which have effects similar to amphetamine and cocaine. The name derives from instances in which the drugs were being sold under the guise of being bath salts. Their white crystals often resemble legal bathing products like Epsom salts, but are chemically disparate from actual bath salts.
Bath salts are typically made of the chemical methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a Schedule I controlled substance. MPDV can cause a range of physical and psychological harm in the human body.
During the search of the residence, deputies located numerous items used in the cutting and packaging of bath salts for distribution. The bath salt crystals are believed to have originated in China and were mailed to the defendant's residence through the United States Postal Service. The bath salts were shipped under the guise of being a legal substance under another name.
Field testing of the substance showed positive for the illegal bath salts. Materials used to dilute the bath salts, such as Instanized DMAA 1,3 Dimethylamylamine, and Caffine Anhydrous HPLC were found inside the residence, along with numerous small plastic bags and scales used in the weighing and packaging of the illegal drugs. Deputies seized approximately 60 grams of suspected bath salts, which appeared to be undiluted, as well as 10 small plastic bags, which appeared to contain diluted bath salts.
Deputies also located a .25 handgun and a .410 shotgun inside the house, with the handgun in close proximity to the site where the bath salts were being packaged. In addition, deputies located a prescription bottle containing 49 suspected Oxycodone tablets. A total of $458 in cash was also recovered.
Charged with trafficking MPDV by Possession and Felonious Maintaining a Residence were Bramblett's father, Bobby Ray Bramblett, age 73, and Bramblett's ex-wife, Marian Michelle Jones, age 35. Bobby Bramblett was also charged with trafficking Opium by Possession. Bond was set at $500,000 for each defendant.
Bath salts are an ongoing menace to our community and anyone with information pertaining to its distribution are encouraged to contact the Rowan County Sheriff's Office at (704) 216-8700, or their local law enforcement agency.