Police Arrest Suspected Synthetic Marijuana and Bath Salt Dealer in Torrington

Ronald Scheibel Synthetic Marijuana

Police have made a second arrest during a major drug bust on synthetic marijuana. 

Police made the first arrest around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Sam's Food/Ravi Petro Convenience Store at 290 Broad St. in New London.

On Wednesday, around noon, police made a second arrest in Torrington. 

Investigators said Ronald Scheibel, 59, of Shelton, was caught more than 100 bags of synthetic marijuana and more than a dozen cases of bath salts, all packed for sale, when they pulled him over on Main Street. 

Investigators said he was about to deliver them to a convenience store, Lilly's Torrington Payment Center.

A spokesperson for Lilly's Torrington Payment Center, denied the allegations.

"No not at all. ... The owner had no idea what was going on," Katie Hennessey said.

Investigators said they do not believe the cases in New London and Torrington are connected.

"We've been trying to get them off the street for a while," said Lt. Mike Emanuel, from Torrington Police.

Police said Scheibel distributed merchandise to stores across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

He might have run a large scale operation, and could have sold drugs to the stores, police said.

"It's very possible he was selling it and distributing them. He did have it in his vehicle," Lt. Emanuel said. 

This was especially concerning for law enforcement, considering synthetic marijuana and bath salts were made illegal in the state less than a year ago after many teens got sick from using them.

"We had young people getting in the hospital with breathing problems and heart attacks," Lt. Emanuel said.

After the bust, police sent a message to businesses that might be selling them.

"Be careful of what you have on the shelf because we will arrest you for it," Lt. Emanuel said.

Police said Lilly's Torrington Payment Center was not in trouble, but told NBC Connecticut this could change depending on the investigation.


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