The RCMP says a substance they found during a bust in St. John's on Monday is not the street drug known as "bath salts," as investigators had suspected.
Sgt. Steve Conohan said an analysis of the powder confirmed it's actually the pain killer Phenacetin, which is prohibited under the Food and Drug Act. It's also known as a cutting agent for cocaine.
Police found 25 kilos of the substance, which has similar properties to so-called "bath salts," in the gas tank of a pickup truck. The street name of the designer drug, which produces an effect similar to drugs like cocaine, refers to the substance's resemblence to bathing products like epsom salts.
Six men were charged in the bust, following a nine-month investigation dubbed Operation Baffle.
The men charged are Tan Tai Huynh, 42, of Montreal, Alex Prefontaine, 31, of Morin-Heights, Que., Uriah Alcock, 28, and Charles Noftall, 35, both of St. John's, Rodney Noseworthy, 36, of Mount Pearl, and Frank Whelan, 50, of North West Brook.
They're charged with conspiracy to traffick in marijuana and cocaine, and trafficking marijuana.
There are also two outstanding warrants for the arrest for another man and a woman.