Slidell man gets 10 years, purchased `bath salts'

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - A Slidell man arrested this month for buying a banned drug disguised as bath salts has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Authorities say 28-year-old Mark Garcia was arrested Jan. 11 shortly after Gov. Bobby Jindal banned the substances in an emergency order.

A judge in Covington ruled Friday that Garcia had violated his probation for 2009 convictions of possessing heroin and Valium.

The state order outlaws a half-dozen drugs sold as phony bath salts. The drugs are sold in packets holding only a pinch of chemical but labeled as bath salts or plant food.

Garcia was arrested the same time that Slidell police took a convenience store clerk into custody and accused him of selling the fake salts.

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