By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer
Kokomo head shop owner Gary Elvers appears to be headed for a Feb. 1 trial date on numerous felony drug dealing charges.
This week Elvers’ attorney waived a formal pre-trial conference and confirmed the trial date with Howard Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges.
Elvers was one of the first people in the state arrested under new laws aimed at curbing the sale and possession of synthetic drugs popularly known as “spice” and “bath salts”.
Kokomo police searched Elvers’ store four days after the state Legislature enacted the stricter laws.
A detective said he tried to purchase spice and bath salts from store employees during a March 19, 2012 undercover visit, but “learned” that the products had been taken off the shelves.
The same day, police executed a search warrant, and found suspected banned products in a closet.
Nielson said police seized about 900 different products during the raid, and sent 17 of those products to the Indiana State Police Lab for testing.
Sixteen of those products tested positive for controlled substances, according to the affidavit.
Elvers’ attorney, Steve Dillon, has since claimed independent lab test results — some of which Elvers requested after being arrested — indicate the items in question didn’t contain banned substances.
Originally arrested on five charges — dealing synthetic marijuana, two counts of maintaining a common nuisance and corrupt business influence — Elvers was rearrested in July on seven additional charges. He now also faces six felony counts of dealing in a synthetic drug and an additional felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance.