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War on drugs hits homes, businesses around Tucson

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 20:49:47-04

The war on drugs hit homes and businesses hard all around Tucson this morning.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, several local Police agencies and even the Border Patrol hit at least nine businesses and homes across the Tucson area in what the DEA described as a drug trafficking investigation.

Witnesses told us agents used a battering ram to break open the door here abut 8:45 this morning.  By that time we knew of other raids throughout the area.

RELATED: 18 arrested in multi-city "spice" raid

Federal agencies are typically very tight about what information they will share.  We now know the investigation touches Denver, and Long Beach California as well as Tucson and centers the powerful synthetic drug known as spice.

Agents and police blocked streets and swarmed over homes on the Southeast side.

On Michigan Street, near South Tucson Stephanie Pritchard rolled up on a wild scene just as the sun came up.

"There was like a huge FBI Army tank right here and they shot off flash grenades into this house and all these cars came driving in," said Pritchard.

Agents and officers hit busies too, mostly small smoke shops like this one on Prince. Witnesses told us the strike teams used a battering ram to bash down the door.

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administrations working with FBI, Border Patrol and Tucson Police.

In South Tucson, Joe Flores understood agents had a job to do but complained so many law enforcement vehicles swarmed in to bust the Chihuahua Market, that customers couldn't get to his daughter's business next door and no one was willing to make room.

He does know the people who run that market.

"I'm the landlord. Craig: Ever notice anything fishy here? Never.  I've never noticed anything.  They've been tenants for over 15 years.  They've always been up and up.  They're very good people.  I've never noticed anything," said Joe Flores.

The IRS was even a part of this case, because tracking where the money goes is such an important part of a drug prosecution.

RELATED: Pima county first responders see increase in Spice calls