Police: Fairhope spice arrest exposes new trend

Fairhope Police Department says the arrest of 31 year-old Jonathan Mooney shed light on a growing trend in Baldwin County. Mooney is charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after police say they found him with bundles of spice and 11 packets of sweetened cigars.

Police say spice users are legally purchasing sweetened cigars, taking out the tobacco, and replacing it with spice. Investigators say the sweet smell of spice makes it easier to conceal in a flavored cigar and parents should be on alert.

“If you find a fruit flavored cigar in your kid’s bedroom don’t jump to the conclusion automatically that he is doing drugs but be aware that it is one mechanism being used to hide it from detection,” said Fairhope Police Department Sgt. Craig Sawyer.

The number of spice arrests in Fairhope has steadily increased over the last three years.

2012: 1 spice related arrest
2013: 5 arrests
2014: 5

“We have some in our high schools, we have found some with adults, we have had to deal with juveniles who have used spice and are expediting delusional episodes,” said Sawyer.

Officers will be getting training on the how to spot the new trend.

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