It's called Operation Log Jam, and at a press conference today, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced a nationwide crackdown on retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of harmful synthetic drugs.
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said "we're sending a clear message to those who profit from the sale of these dangerous substances. You are nothing more than a drug trafficker and we will bring you to justice."
Those are harsh words for anyone who sells, distributes or manufactures synthetic drugs. The drugs have seemingly harmless names such as Bath Salts, Spice, K2, Vanilla Sky, Blaze or Incense.
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said "many of these products come with a disclaimer that they we quote "not for human consumption" to mask the dangers that they pose, but in fact they're incredibly dangerous."
D.E.A. Diversion Program Manager Scott Collier told KSFY News that Sioux Falls is emblematic of the problem nationwide, that it's not just a big city problem, and it's not just a rural problem.
KSFY News was there at the scene when the raid took place at the smoke shop Roll With It in Sioux Falls.
"Sioux Falls, like many other places in the country has location that were selling synthetic or fake marijuana and fake stimulant drugs such as go-go and other trade names. And so we had an opportunity to take enforcement in your community, just like we did in other communities across the country," Collier said.
Authorities targeted ninety cities in thirty states to interrupt the complex pipeline from drug manufactures to sellers.
"At the DEA, we're experts at connecting the dots, and identifying patterns in finding relationships and gathering evidence that leads to the ultimate destruction of the drug trafficking networks," Leonhart said.
KSFY News spoke with Roll With It owner, Tom Harms who said his store is "temporarily closed." A woman who answered the door at the store told KSFY News that they are aware the crackdown is happening nationwide.
"As of today, Operation Log Jam has resulted in 91 arrests from around the country and a staggering amount of drug seizures," Leonhart said.
Operation Log Jam statistics released by the D.E.A. Thursday:
90 cities in 30 states targeted
91 arrests (retailers, distributors, and manufacturers)
4.8 million packets of synthetic canabinoids (a.k.a. fake marijuana) seized and the products to produce nearly 13. 6 million more packets
167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (a.k.a. Bath Salts), with the products to produce 392,000 more packets
$36 million in cash seized
$6 million in assets
53 weapons seized
265 search warrants executed in 90 cities in 30 states.
29 manufacturing facilities included in those search warrants
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
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