54ºF

Father charged with trafficking bath salts, child neglect

Deputies: Rondal Gibson arrested at Palm Coast home after 2-month investigation

Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Rondal Gibson and images of the bath salts that investigators said they located during the search of the home
Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Rondal Gibson and images of the bath salts that investigators said they located during the search of the home

PALM COAST, Fla. – A man was arrested Thursday on several felony charges, including trafficking bath salts and child neglect, at a Palm Coast home where he, a woman and their three young children were living, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.

Rondal Gibson is charged with trafficking bath salts, possession of cannabis with intent to distribute, possession of THC hash oil with intent to distribute and child neglect. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. 

The Sheriff's Office's Special Investigations Unit and SWAT team responded to Gibson's home on Blakemore Drive to execute a search warrant stemming from a two-month-long investigation that started after detectives said they received multiple reports of heavy traffic in and out of the house at all hours.

During the search, detectives said, illegal drugs -- including marijuana and hash oil -- with a total street value of about $7,000 were seized. Detectives said they also found packaging items, such as a scales and a vacuum-seal machine.

According to his arrest report, said they also discovered more than 40 grams of a clear, gritty, rock-type substance -- which tested positive for synthetic cathinones, or bath salts -- inside a black suitcase on the master bedroom floor, just feet away from a 2-year-old child who was sleeping on the floor. 

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, synthetic cathinones are central nervous system stimulants designed to mimic effects similar to those produced by cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was notified due to the amount of drugs found in the home occupied by children, deputies said.

Gibson, 29, was arrested and then booked Thursday afternoon into the Flagler County jail. As of Friday afternoon, Gibson was being held on $45,000 bail, jail records show.

“He is lucky the children did not get ingest these drugs," Sheriff Rick Staly said. "I am proud of our detectives for doing the leg work to get him off the street and behind bars where he belongs. I also thank the community for reporting suspicious activity. If you see something, say something.” 

According to the Sheriff's Office, the investigation is ongoing and further charges are pending.


About the Author: