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Feds Crack Down on Synthetic Drugs in 29 States

Federal Agents Raid Synthetic Drug Manufacturers in 29 States

synthetic drugOn Wednesday, May 7th, federal agents conducted raids in 29 states in a massive crackdown on synthetic drug manufacturers.

Authorities say that the synthetic drug crackdown occurred because of a suspected link between drug manufacturers and terrorist groups.

Although many forms of synthetic drugs, such as synthetic marijuana, are technically legal, the drugs have proven to be extremely dangerous. In 2011 alone, there were 29,000 hospital visits due to synthetic drug products. In the last week of April of this year, 120 people overdosed and died because of ingesting synthetic marijuana in Austin and Dallas, Texas.

More than 45 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents went door-to-door in 29 states, confiscating hundreds of packages of synthetic drugs. Agents arrested 150 people and seized over $20 million in cash and assets.

The primary drug bust target was synthetic marijuana, most commonly referred to as “spice” or “K2,” but there are other synthetic drugs on the market, particularly molly, a form of ecstasy that is often laced with other harmful chemicals, as well as “bath salts.”

Chief DEA Agent Eduardo Chavez said, “Spice is one of those drugs that if we do not get ahead of and if the American public does not recognize the dangers that it could cause to its youth it could cause devastating effects, much like heroin, much like meth.”

At a smoke shop in Birmingham, Alabama, DEA agents discovered wire transfers totaling $38 million to Yemen, evidence of a link between synthetic drug dealers and manufacturers, and terrorist groups. The bust will give federal agents a chance to follow the “money trail” of drug organizations. Other reported money trails led to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said, “I don’t want to say 100 percent definitively that this is financing terror, but we have a pretty good idea of where this money is going. That should alarm people.”

Synthetic Drugs Becoming More and More Available

The DEA recently made three types of synthetic marijuana specifically illegal so that they could investigate how the drug is distributed and made. Many synthetic drugs are difficult to test for – in part because the chemical structure of the drugs can be easily changed, and because the drugs are very new and drug tests do not look for those specific molecules in the body. However, the larger problem is their easy availability, and their legal status which makes them accessible to underage users.

According to Drug Recognition Experts Bob Welsh and Tracy Durbin, there are hundreds of new WDS_LINK_PLACEHOLDER_b07b4dda9df5dea8e3a590492d5c4a30 being made every day. Although the DEA recently busted BitCoin-only deep web site the Silk Road, other websites also sell synthetic drugs, and the postal service does not have a foolproof way to detect the chemicals yet. Welsh and Durbin say that many of the drugs are made in unregulated labs in China and India, then are shipping through internet orders to the US.

The Strom Law Firm Can Defend Against Charges Involving Synthetic Drugs

If you or a loved one have been found with a synthetic drug, such as synthetic marijuana, K2, or spice, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much of the drug was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let charges for synthetic drugs hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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