Police raid legal-high shop in bid to discover how teenager died

Revellers at the RockNess festival . Picture: Paul Campbell
Revellers at the RockNess festival . Picture: Paul Campbell
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DETECTIVES have raided a “legal high” shop in Edinburgh, less than three days after the death of teenager Alex Heriot at RockNess music festival in the Highlands.

A team of nine officers entered the Apothecary, in the city’s Clerk Street, at 3pm yesterday and took away dozens of items. The squad could also be seen taking photographs inside the store, which describes itself as “your local headshop” and sells pipes, bongs, herbs and legal high drugs.

Lothian and Borders Police confirmed they were involved in yesterday’s operation at the store and were working with Northern Constabulary, which is taking the lead role in investigating Mr Heriot’s death.

The 19-year-old, from Portobello, Edinburgh, collapsed and died on Saturday night. It is thought he may have taken the legal high Benzo Fury at the festival near Inverness.

Police had already been at the store for several hours yesterday when a marked van arrived containing three uniformed and six plain clothes officers.

Officers then filled the van with around 40 packages, bags and buckets in five minutes.

Three bin liners appeared to hold clear individual bags containing a herbal substance.

Other packages were carried out wrapped in dark green plastic approximately 1.5ft wide and about 8 inches thick. There was also a sealed white bucket which read “White Vein” on top of it.

A blog for the shop reads: “Apothecary is a headshop based in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and sells a wide range of bongs, herbs, pipes and incense.”

The shop was closed for much of yesterday, with heavy steel shutters in the windows and blocking the door.

An officer at the scene identified himself as being CID from the city’s Craigmillar police station. He said: “We are carrying out a general evidence investigation in conjunction with Northern Constabulary.

“The owner of the shop will continue to be involved with the investigation in the meantime.”

Neighbouring businesses described the shop as being popular with youngsters.

One woman working in a neighbouring fashion boutique said: “It’s usually young folk that go in.”

Another nearby cafe worker said: “His shop is quite popular judging by the amount of folk you see going in it.”

After collapsing, Mr Heriot was taken to Raigmore Hospital but doctors were unable to save him. Two other young people, including a 19-year-old woman thought to be his girlfriend, were also hospitalised in the incident.

Mr Heriot’s mother Deirdre has urged youngsters to avoid the drug.

She said: “Alex was attending a music festival which he had been looking forward to enormously. As a young man who enjoyed life it was unfortunate he chose to experiment with a drug that had such a catastrophic effect on his system.”