DEA cracks down on synthetic drugs in Phoenix
PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV) - Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued 12 search warrants Monday and seized over 20,000 units of synthetic drugs in Phoenix.
Monday's operation was the second statewide enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry that is responsible for drugs such as Spice, K2 and plant food, according to Special Agent Ramona Sanchez with the DEA.
"We have struck another blow to the synthetic designer drug industry, from manufacturers and distributors to retailers, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. "We will continue to target these new and emerging drugs with every investigative tool at our disposal and bring to justice those who peddle these poisons and harm our society."
Sanchez tells KGUN9 that along with the 20,000 units of synthetic cannabinoids that were seized, 50 pounds of bulk Spice ready for retail packaging and more than three kilograms of raw chemicals were also seized.
The DEA issued search warrants at 12 different locations, including a manufacturing warehouse, five retail outlets and various residences throughout Phoenix and Scottsdale. Prior to Monday's operation, the DEA and participating agencies had already seized more than 30 kilograms of cannabinoids and enough chemicals to produce over 100 kilograms of cannabinoids.
According to Sanchez, some of the synthetic drugs seized in Monday's operation are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), but the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 allows these drugs to be treated as
controlled substances if they are proven to be chemically and/or pharmacologically similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance.