Man accused of peddling ‘very dangerous Catnip Cocktail’ from NJ nutrition store

Mike Montone
March 08, 2019 - 11:08 am
Catnip Cocktail siezed in a raid on a Fairfield, NJ nutrition store

Fairfield NJ Police

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FAIRFIELD, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- The Nutrition Zone on Route 46 in Fairfield is supposed to be a healthy place, but cops say the store manager was dealing a dangerous sedative.

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Authorities say customers had to ask for 'Catnip Cocktail' by name if they wanted to score one from John Sirico.

Det. Lt Chuck Zampino said it's used to sedate cats, but people were apparently using it to get high.

"It's a synthetic depressant, it's sold as anxiety relief for cats and dogs, and it's not for human consumption. It's like a clear pink liquid, it's got a fruity smell," he said, "It's an analog of GHB."

He said they found 61 bottles of Catnip Cocktail behind the counter, along with 29 bottles of human growth hormone, and seven high-capacity handgun and rifle magazines.

“It seems quite suspicious to me that an individual looking for something to sedate a cat with would come to a Nutrition Zone and not a veterinarian, to purchase a product that wasn’t even advertised or on display for the public to see,” Fairfield police Chief Anthony G. Manna said in a statement.

Cops say they they were called to the strip mall where the Nutrition Zone is located, back in 2018, for a report of a man who was dancing, yelling, and acting abnormally outside of a hair salon.

“When officers found the individual involved, he was allegedly having a variety of mood swings to including being very friendly one moment, then being confused and angry the next,” the chief said.

The man was in possession of six bottles of catnip cocktail, along with receipts from the Nutrition Zone, police told NJ.com.

Cops say that was just the first incident.

A driver pulled over on Route 46 for driving erratically was said by police to be 'extremely confused and unaware of his surroundings.' Cops say they found several bottle of catnip in the car, and charged the man with DUI.

The most recent incident came last week, when police used Narcan to revive a man outside of gym who they say was in possession of a bottle of Catnip Cocktail.

Authorities say Catnip Cocktail behaves like GHB when metabolized by humans.

“This is a very dangerous product and it appears its improper use is on the rise,” Manna said.

Sirico was in the Essex County Jail awaiting a court appearance.