Woman charged in "designer drug" case

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A woman has been charged in what is being called a "designer drug" case.

On Monday, after the three-month long investigation, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Unit (ACE), assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation arrested Deborah Northam Loining, 39, for possession of Schedule I, Mephedrone, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mephedrone is a powerful synthetic stimulate that mimics the effects of cocaine and amphetamines.

During the course of the investigation, officers learned that Loining was involved with other suspects in an ongoing synthetic drug distribution ring, obtaining illegal synthetic drugs from online sources.

After receiving information about a delivery, investigators began watching Loining and observed her making a pick up of suspected bath salts, at which time she was stopped while traveling in a vehicle on East Innes Street.

The Sheriff's Office had obtained a search warrant and discovered a suspected package of synthetic drugs that Loining was carrying.  They also searched Loining's house, located at 680 Sweet Gum Lane in Salisbury.

That search resulted in the seizure of multiple items, some which tested positive for Mephedrone.  Other items containing suspected controlled substances are awaiting laboratory analysis.

Additional charges are expected.  Loining was placed under a $20,000 secured bond.