HOUSTON The Drug Enforcement Administration says they are working with local and state agencies to crack down on the bath salts problem at the distribution level instead of individual stores.

Two deaths within a week have been blamed on synthetic substance called bath salts. The so-called designer drug, has been compared to cocaine.

The bath salts were found in David Pedersen s pocket after he died on a Galveston Street Saturday night. Witnesses said he was screaming at traffic and had a look of terror on his face.

He looks at me and his eyes get big, said Ethan Hernandez. I saw fear in this man and I ve never seen fear in a man like this before.

An EMS crew reported that Pedersen was showing signs of excited delirium before he died.

Less than a week before that, Taylor Romero grabbed a baseball bat to try and protect his Manvel neighbor from her uncle.

She came in and said he s on something, recalled Romero. I think he s on that synthetic cocaine that s all she knew.

James Dortch Jr. had to be pepper sprayed by police, and while paramedics were checking him out he died.

Drug agents admitted that tackling the bath salts problem can be tough. The product name and packaging are constantly changing and the ingredients are adjusted slightly too.

KHOU 11 News found the so-called bath salts listed under a variety of names like Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Meow, Drone and Cloud Nine.

We need to track down the source of where this is coming from, said Anthony Scott, an Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA.

There s no list of ingredients on the packaging and no indication of where the product comes from.

We do have investigations that are targeting bath salts. Right now, as we speak, we have investigations going on, Scott said. It s been on our radar since January 2011. We are attacking the problem. It s just a matter of getting the right people involved and getting them prosecuted.

Read or Share this story: