2 inmates charged with possessing fake pot

Two inmates were charged with promoting contraband for allegedly possessing a brand of synthetic marijuana called “spice,” troopers say.

Alaska State Troopers in Juneau said in a dispatch Friday officers responded to the report at Lemon Creek Correctional Center at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

“They were observed (by correctional officers) handing it off to each other and trying to conceal it inside the jail,” Trooper Jake Abbott, the investigating officer, told the Empire by phone.

The dispatch said first-degree contraband charges for possessing a controlled substance were forwarded to the district attorney’s office.

Sgt. Timothy Birt told the Empire the Troopers weren’t releasing the inmates’ names yet since there were no arrests made and because the case is still under investigation.

Spice, which is also sold under the brand “K2,” is a psychoactive chemical product that mimics the effects of marijuana. The Alaska Legislature passed a bill banning it last year.

Abbott said he couldn’t speculate as to whether spice was a problem in the city of Juneau, but that it was a problem in the jail.

He said he has been involved with about four cases dealing with spice at the jail since the beginning of December.

“It seems to be the new popular thing,” Abbott said, in part because it’s easy to get a hold of and because not all urinalyses screen for it.

Promoting contraband is a routine charge that troopers respond to at the jail, though the substance is usually tobacco. Abbott said troopers probably respond to tobacco at the jail about once or twice a month.

Troopers have jurisdiction over such cases at the jail since LCCC is a state facility.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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