Etowah County sheriff: 2 arrested after first-ever discovery of AB-Pinaca, narcotic used to make spice

Ricky Lee Laxton, left, and Samantha Mary Mooney, right.

ETOWAH COUNTY, Alabama -- Two people from Boaz are facing drug trafficking charges after task force agents in Etowah County discovered a large supply of a narcotic used to produce synthetic marijuana or "spice," Sheriff Todd Entrekin said. Ricky Lee Laxton, 26, and Samantha Mary Mooney, 20, are each charged with one count of trafficking, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, one count of first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and one count of first-degree salvia. According to Entrekin, Etowah County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force agents executed a search warrant Aug. 1 at a home on Liberty Hill Road in the Smith Institute community. Authorities later discovered two kilos of the new designer drug called AB-Pinaca, a white powder that's used to make a form of spice, which is illegal in Alabama. It was the first-ever discovery and seizure of chemical drug in state law enforcement history. Two handguns were also recovered from the home. The seized narcotics, which is said to result in renal, lung and circulatory failure, has an estimated street value of around $100,000. According to a release, the suspects allegedly ordered the AB-Pinaca from China and planned to spray it with an acetone mixture to produce a synthetic drug that gives users a high filled with paranoia and hallucinations. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Alabama Beverage Control Division of Narcotics assisted in the investigation and in cooperation with the United States Postal Service and Homeland Security Investigations. Laxton and Mooney are currently being held without bond in the Etowah County Detention Center.
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