FAIRFIELD, N.J. (AP) – Police arrested the manager of a health and nutrition store after a raid turned up dozens of bottles of a cat sedative linked to bizarre behavior in humans. John Sirico, of Tafton, Pennsylvania, was charged with multiple drug offenses and one weapons charge after the raid Thursday at Nutrition Zone in Fairfield. He was being detained pending a court hearing. Officials did not know whether he had retained an attorney.
Officers seized 61 bottles of “Catnip Cocktail” from the store. They also recovered 29 bottles of human growth hormone, 20 bottles of a mixing agent, and seven high-capacity handgun and rifle magazines.
According to police, the drug was hidden from view and no advertisements reflected that the store sold it.
Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna said officers first became aware of the drug’s effects last summer when they found a man dancing and yelling near the store and exhibiting mood swings.
Last month, a different man was seen driving erratically on a highway near the store. When police stopped him, he appeared confused and unaware of his surroundings.
In both instances, officers recovered bottles of “Catnip Cocktail.”
“This is a very dangerous product, and it appears its improper use is on the rise,” Manna said in a statement.
The drug is not linked to the catnip plant. When the drug is metabolized by humans, police say it is similar to GHB, which is sometime used by partygoers but also known as the “date rape” drug.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)