Owner of Alibaba’s Pipe Emporium arrested

May 20, 2014 

Screenshot: Alibaba's facebook page

— Federal agents raided two businesses owned by Rafael Tynan Salas, Jr., 46, on Tuesday and arrested him after finding ‘bath salts’ and ‘spice’ for sale, US Attorney Bill Nettles said in a news release. DEA agents found numerous packets of ‘Black Diamond’, the brand name of some of the chemicals seized, Nettles said.

Salas owns and operates the Alibaba’s Pipe Emporium and Intrinsic Treasures stores in Lexington and Irmo. He and his business were charged with conspiring with others to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute chemicals found in what are commonly referred to as “bath salts” or “spice.”

In announcing the indictment and arrest, Nettles said the government also would seek some $405,000 from Salsa and his businesses.

The well known Midlands head shop sells clothing, incense, scented candles, jewelry, glass pipes, hookahs and other merchandise.

An attempt to reach Salas was unsuccessful.

-- Rachel Myers Lowe

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