Attorney General speaks during a press conference at the Putnam County Courthouse after his office filed a lawsuit against a Georgia manufacturer of "designer drugs." (Photos by Chris Dickerson)
Some of the "designer drugs" that have been seized by law enforcement.
WINFIELD - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed a lawsuit Monday against a Georgia-based company for selling drug compounds that mimic controlled substances.
According to McGraw's complaint, filed in Putnam County Circuit Court, Nutragenomics Manufacturing LLC is a "major distributor" of the ingredients used to make synthetic versions of controlled substances that are widely available in the state.
These so-called "designer drugs" imitate the effects of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine, and are illegal in West Virginia.
In his 13-page complaint, McGraw is asking that the company, located in Alpharetta, Ga., and Drew Green, its "sole organizer," be banned from selling or advertising their products in West Virginia.
The attorney general claims the company markets the chemicals in bulk under phony labels like "incense," "K2," "bath salts," "plant food" and other, innocent-sounding names, falsely claiming that its products are safe.
"Working in conjunction with the Metro Drug Unit, the Sheriff's Office, and other law enforcement agencies, my office is committed to ridding West Virginia of the plague that these designer drugs pose for our communities," McGraw said Monday. "Cutting off these illicit drug compounds at their source is an effective start to cleaning up the problem."
In addition to the ban on Nutragenomics products, the attorney general's complaint requests that the company:
- Identify all recipients in the state that bought its products and the chemicals that were purchased;
- Be restrained from representing that their harmful chemicals are benign or legal in the state; and
- Be required to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation of the state's Consumer Protection Act, as well as all litigation and court costs.
McGraw claims that the company's conduct also constitutes unfair and deceptive acts in violation of several sections of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.