Northwest Iowan arrested in ‘bath salts’ drug case

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — A 35-year-old northwest Iowa man has been arrested, accused of selling the synthetic “bath salts” drug to at least four people who had to be hospitalized later.

Lee Mercer, of Galva, is being held on $100,000 bail in Cherokee County.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says Mercer was arrested on a felony charge of ongoing criminal conduct and four misdemeanor charges of distributing imitation controlled substances.

Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott says the four people became confused and were unable to control their arms and legs.

The nickname of “bath salts” stems from the drug’s powdery appearance.

Calls to Mercer’s attorney in another case rang unanswered on Thursday.