- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A 26-year-old Waterloo convenience store manager has pleaded guilty to selling synthetic drugs commonly known as bath salts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for northern Iowa says Earl James Ramos, of Waterloo, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Ramos faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced at a later date, which has not yet been set.

Federal and state authorities have in recent years been warning of the danger of synthetic drugs, which mimic marijuana, cocaine and other illegal substances. Synthetic drugs are often marketed as bath salts or incense and can sometimes be found for sale at convenience stores.

Side effects include rapid heart rate, seizures, anxiety, intense hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal tendencies.

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