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      SC couple arrested in federal drug probe

      GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina couple and their former employee are being charged with operating stores that sold synthetic drugs.

      Authorities say 42-year-old Steven Petty and his 39-year-old wife, Sirena Patty of Gaffney, S.C. were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to possess and distribute synthetic drugs.

      The couple owns Carousel Music in Gaffney and Smokers Edge in Shelby, N.C.

      A former employee, 27-year-old Jessica Weast of Ellenboro, N.C. is facing similar charges.

      If convicted, they face 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

      Agents say they also seized about $1.4 million from the Pettys, including $800,000 in cash from their home.

      The three arrests were part of the Drug Enforcement Administration's crackdown in 35 states that targeted the upper echelon of dangerous designer synthetic drugs.

      Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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