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Action News uncovers new information about new illegal drug in Northeast Florida

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Updated: 5/01/2013 12:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Investigators say a local man cooked up a dangerous concoction in a storage unit next to one of our areas busiest roadways, and tried selling it on Clay County streets.

That drug is so new, deputies in Clay County weren't sure what it was.

"We thought it was LSD, but tests came up negative," says Capt. Barry Abromowitz of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Abromowitz says 23-year-old Ricardo Chavarriaga offered undercover officers hits of what he called "25-I" during a drug bust in the parking lot of a nearby fast-food restaurant.

When deputies searched his car, they found six sheets of paper, containing one hundred hits each.

The drug is so new to Northeast Florida, drug treatment centers Action News contacted claim they've never heard of it.

Abromowitz says synthetic drugs like 25-I can carry serious side-effects, made up of a random mix of chemicals not meant for human consumption.

"What happens?  You put that in your body and guess what?  Your body starts deteriorating," Abromowitz says.

The Drug Enforcement Agency calls 25-I super potent, six times as powerful as other hallucinogens.  It has been connected to drug overdoses across the country.

Debi Forrest with the Florida/DSVI Poison Information Center says the make-up of synthetic drugs is problematic. 

"A lot of these are made overseas and brought in from places like China, so you have no idea what they are adding to these chemicals, "  Debi Forrest says.

Last week, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill making more than two dozen synthetic drugs illegal.  State Senator Rob Bradley's district includes Clay and Bradford Counties.  He says keeping up with illegal drug makers is difficult, and is a great concern to him as the father of three teens. He sponsored the bill to ban them.

"They're creating new substances every day. It really is frustrating that we find ourselves in a position where every single legislative session we have to revisit this issue and add to the list of illegal substances because there are people out there that are just bad people."

Ricardo Chavarriaga pleaded not guilty. His trial will begin soon.
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