• Smoke 911 shop manager arrested on bath salts charges

    By: Tom Regan


    WOODSTOCK, Ga. - The manager of a chain of adult novelty stores has been arrested on charges that she sold an undercover drug enforcement officer a synthetic methamphetamine drug often referred to as bath salts.

    Serena Burkart was arrested at her Woodstock store Wednesday night after authorities received a tip that she was selling synthetic drugs out of her car in the parking lot.

    "We got a search warrant for the store and vehicle. In addition to some bath salts in the car, we found about $10,000 in cash that she said was related to the businesses, but it was in all sorts of locations," said Phil Price, director of the Cherokee Multi-Agency Drug Squad.

    Price told Channel 2's Tom Regan that Burkard had been warned repeatedly to stop selling synthetic drugs in her stores.

    Last month, federal agents raided four Smoke 911 stores in metro Atlanta, seizing truckloads of evidence as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected illegal drug sales and money laundering.

    Authorities said the Marietta home of Burkard's boyfriend, who owns the stores, also was raided.

    "You would think, given her background, [that after] three or four searches of her businesses, [she would consider that] maybe she needs to change how they're doing business. But apparently, it's not sinking in," Price said.

    Business owners near the Woodstock Smoke 911 shop said they are glad police are taking action.

    "We are a family company. We want to attract families and make them feel safe in shopping, " said Mark Chase, owner of Creation Reef & Aquatics.

    Burkart remains in the Cherokee County jail without bond, police said.

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