DEA Announces Large-Scale Arrests of Synthetic Drug Traffickers

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and authorities in three other countries announced the arrests of dozens of people on Wednesday involved in trafficking designer drugs such as bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

In the United States, the enforcement operations took place in 49 cities, and targeted retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. The operations included more than 150 arrest warrants and almost 375 search warrants.

The DEA investigation into designer drugs has uncovered a large flow of drug-related proceeds back to countries in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The investigation is following the trail of money to groups suspected of ties to terrorists, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Arrests were also made in Canada, Australia and Barbados. Bank accounts in Panama were seized as part of the operation.

In the three days before the operations took place, more than 550 kilograms of synthetic drugs were seized in a joint operation with Customs and Border Protection, aimed at international shipments of synthetic drugs at express consignment facilities, according to the DEA.

“Shutting down businesses that traffic in these drugs and attacking their operations worldwide is a priority for DEA and our law enforcement partners,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a news release. “These designer drugs are destructive, dangerous, and are destroying lives. DEA has been at the forefront of the battle against this trend and is targeting these new and emerging drugs with every scientific, legislative, and investigative tool at our disposal.”

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    Rick Mason

    January 22, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    It’s a slippery slope to try to manage all the OTC products which can be ‘converted’ into drugs. While Bath Sales and K2 are hot now, there will always be something new. Something has to be done but policing it at this level can’t be effective.

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    St.Clai Payne, CASAC

    July 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Marijuana has become a major issue. I work with those who struggle with mental illness and substance abuse and K2 is destroying their lives. I have personally contacted NYPD, NYS drug enforcement they have a special line for synthetic drugs and DEA and identified three places that sell K2 to clients I work with. These clients use their limited monies and food stamps to purchase this drug. I have not seen any change is the three stores that have been identified as seller. I and many others like myself are struggling to help these clients who appears to helpless with this addiction. Its easy accessibility is killing people and the store owners only care about their profit margin. Help is needed and I am not sure who can any more. I and others have some success with getting some clients into some form of treatment however the majority are being lost. Help is needed in our poorer communities.

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    June 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Drugs and addictions know no boundries.

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