PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State police and a drug task force raided nearly a dozen local gas stations and convenience stores for synthetic drugs.

Investigators are expecting to fill a U-Haul truck by the end of the day. The raids are a result of a two-month undercover investigation.

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“The investigation began initially because law enforcement has seen a rise in the availability and use of synthetic marijuana, K2 and bath salts in the area as well as the undesirable effects that those synthetic drugs have had on the community,” State Trooper Joe Christy said.

The raids have targeted businesses in Allegheny and Washington counties. Investigators say the drugs were sold over the counter like candy.

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Trooper Christy says the synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous.

“There’s no regulations on it other than the laws, but unlike tobacco and other types of things like that where it’s been tested and we know what the effects are and whether or not it’s consistently made … serious health concerns, obviously,” he said.

Last year, a 14-year-old from Westmoreland County bought synthetic marijuana and smoked it in a PEZ container. He burned his lungs, underwent a double lung transplant and died a few months later.

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