Local Convenience Stores Get Surprise Visits From Deputies

Methamphetamines have become the drug of choice for many, because the ingredients are found on store shelves, but Bay County sheriff’s deputies are now trying to take the "convenience" out of obtaining these items.

Investigators have completed a major raid of businesses selling drug paraphernalia. In all they busted 27 convenience stores for selling things like pipes, scales and chemicals used to make meth.

The busts began early Wednesday morning and caught many of the store owners off guard.

In all, over $10,000 worth of drug paraphernalia was taken by investigators. In some cases, ready made kits to smoke meth were sold for a few dollars.

These busts are a result of a two-week-long sting put on by several local law police. Undercover agents went to 50 stores trying to purchase these specific drug related items. Once employees identified them, they were able to obtain search warrants.

Sheriff’s Department Capt. Ricky Ramie say they were shocked by what they found.

“I was very surprised but in the same token I am very satisfied with what took place. Again, we have sent a clear message that we're sick and tired of it, that's the words right of the sheriff's mouth.”

Investigators only made one arrest Wednesday. They found a clerk with marijuana, but the none of the store owners or clerks was taken to jail in relation to the drug paraphernalia. They could however face prosecution in the future.

Investigators say they started to see these items appear in stores two years ago as meth use increased.