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At least one person arrested in K2 outbreak

One person was arrested and charged Thursday after police found five baggies of K2 on his person.

According to court documents, police found Kenneth J. Edwards lying on the street unresponsive near Sixth Street and Wilkes Boulevard. Upon searching Edwards, police found five baggies of K2 and $100 in cash on his person.

Police had also seen Edwards at a residence that has been known in the past for K2 and narcotics distribution.

This comes after Columbia police and firefighters responded to more than a dozen medical calls related to K2 in the past few days. The city joins many others across the country that have dealt with outbreaks of K2-related medical emergencies. In August more than 100 K2 poisonings or overdoses were reported in New Haven, Connecticut.

DEA special agent in charge Bill Callahan said enforcing laws against synthetic marijuana can be difficult because the chemicals dealers use are always changing.

“We’ve had instances where we’ve tested K2 and we’ve found rat poison, we’ve found fentanyl and other chemicals they’ll put into the spice or K2,” Callahan said. Some of the chemicals used to make K2 are illegal drugs, but others are not, further complicating prosecution.

Callahan said the DEA is working with local law enforcement to fight the K2 problem in Columbia.

Edwards is charged with delivery of 35 grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid and is being held on a $3,000 bond. His first court date is set for Tuesday.

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