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Feds Charge Dallas Smoke Shop Owners In Fake Pot Case

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Dallas-based smoke shop chain and its owner are among almost three dozen businesses and individuals accused in a federal indictment involving an alleged synthetic marijuana distribution ring.

Gas Pipe, Amy Lynn, Shults and Herrig are among 32 defendants charged with multiple drug trafficking, conspiracy and money laundering counts.

Synthetic marijuana is commonly referred to as "spice," K2," "herbal incense," or even ''potpourri". The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it can raise the heart rate and blood pressure and cause seizures, agitation, vomiting, hallucinations, violent behavior, inability to breathe and psychotic episodes.

A federal grand jury in Dallas handed up the indictment on May 6. Most of those charged in the indictment, including Shults and Herrig, have turned themselves in or been arrested.

George Milner, Shults' attorney, denied that the products sold in the chain's 14 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Albuquerque, New Mexico, areas are illegal. He says the federal government is "taking every measure possible" to close the 45-year-old company and put its almost 200 employees out of work. "The law prohibits very specific things," he said. "Something is 'illegal' or it's not, and being 'almost illegal' is the same as being not illegal."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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