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2 stores to close over synthetic drug sales

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A judge has ordered two eastern Ohio stores to shut down for a year over the sale of synthetic drugs.

Belmont County Judge Frank Fregiato (frih-JAH'-toh) ordered the owners of Fred's Party Stores to close the two businesses next month after finding evidence of illegal drug sales.

Fregiato's ruling earlier this week followed a complaint filed by Attorney General Mike DeWine in July over the sale of illegal drugs at the stores in Martins Ferry and Bridgeport marketed as "incense" and "potpourri."

A message was left with the attorney for the stores' owner.

DeWine is leading a crackdown on the drugs, sometimes called bath salts or herbal essence, being sold around the state.

The drugs can have effects similar to but longer-lasting than amphetamines.

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