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4:55 AM Wed, Nov. 14th

Spice possession nets arrest; did not know it was illegal

A Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy booked Matthew Keller, 27, of Glendale into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde this past Thursday on felony charges of possession of the drug Spice and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He allegedly admitted he had Spice in his van after he was stopped for speeding on Highway 93 near milepost 191.

When Keller gave the deputy his Nevada driver's license, he told the deputy he had Spice - which became illegal to possess in Arizona this past February - in his van, said a YCSO spokesman.

Spice is an herbal smoking blend sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

This synthetic marijuana has been found to be responsible for severe and sometimes fatal conditions including, but not limited to, seizures, strokes, high blood pressure, visual disturbances, heart dysfunctions and more.

Keller told the deputy that he did not know possession of Spice was illegal in Arizona, adding that he just bought the Spice from a smoke shop in Glendale, according to the YCSO.

Keller consented to a search of his van and the deputy allegedly found six bottles labeled with the word "Handy," with each containing about three grams of Spice, according to investigators.

Keller allegedly told deputies he smoked Spice earlier that morning, saying he recently switched to Spice from marijuana because he thought it was legal, said investigators, who added that Keller also allegedly possessed a pipe used to smoke Spice.

Keller was released the following day on a $3,500 bond.