Authorities say two co-workers overdosed on Spice

Marcus Ambers

Shenandoah County authorities are citing synthetic marijuana as the cause of a double drug overdose that sent two co-workers at George’s Chicken near Edinburg to the hospital last week.

One of the victims, Marcus Allan Ambers, 22, of Harrisonburg, has been charged with possession of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as Spice, with intent to deliver, a felony. Ambers is also charged with possession of synthetic marijuana, a misdemeanor. Ambers has been released from jail on a $2,000 unsecured bond.

Capt. Wesley Dellinger of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office refused to identify the other victim, a 19-year-old man from Harrisonburg, citing patient privacy laws. The second man has not been charged, Dellinger said.

Dellinger said deputies were called to George’s Chicken at 19992 Senedo Road at 4:30 a.m. Thursday where they found Ambers and the other victim “in need of medical attention” and showing signs of being “under the influence of a narcotic substance.”

“Ambers indicated to the deputies that they had smoked a substance known as K2, which is synthetic marijuana and is known on the street as ‘Spice,'” Dellinger said.

Dellinger said both victims were semi-conscious and disoriented when deputies arrived.

An ambulance called to the scene took both men to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released, Dellinger said.

A deputy at the scene took a leafy substance from Ambers and has sent it to a crime laboratory for analysis, Dellinger said.

Ambers is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court at 9 a.m. May 8.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation, and there could be additional charges,” Dellinger said.

The case is the latest indication of the sudden appearance in the area of Spice, an herb sprayed with various chemicals intended to mimic THC, the active ingredient in conventional marijuana.

Authorities say at least a dozen people in the Harrisonburg area have overdosed on synthetic marijuana in the last week and another 15 overdoses have been reported around Hagerstown, Maryland.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com