EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 25, 2012

Police, DEA raid Salem pawnshop

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie, jmackenzie@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

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SALEM, N.H. — Salem police, federal Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and North Andover officers raided Can You Dig It at 101 Main St. at about 10:30 this morning.

Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said the raid was for bath salts, K2 and other cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds found in marijuana.

"In Salem over the past year, there have been numerous overdoses on these types of chemicals. It's been a lengthy and ongoing investigation," Patten said. "They're executing federal search warrants."

Police staged across the street from the store, far back in the parking lot behind Salem Co-operative Bank. They were there for at least 30 or 45 minutes before they descended on the shop, located at the corner of the busy intersection of S. Broadway and Main Street, not far from the Tuscan Kitchen on the other side of S. Broadway.

Agents and officers stacked empty cardboard boxes on the sidewalk outside the store, which one bystander described as "a head shop."

Agents with arms loaded with newspapers and rolls of bubble wrap entered the store. Police blocked one lane of Main Street in front of the store, adding to the already congested intersection.

Patten urged motorists to steer clear and said it could be an active scene for some time to come.

"Due to tight quarters, we had to take a lane," he said. "I urge people to avoid the area."

The store is located next door to the Masonic Building, home to a barbershop, graphic studio and nail salon.

Plainclothes officers, DEA agents with their distinctive black jackets and uniformed police officers gathered outside and inside the store.

Patten said police would be removing items from inside the store for quite some time.

Follow Jo-Anne MacKenzie on Twitter @ETNHEditor.