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  1. Basoodler


    Ninety people were arrested, 5 million packets of "designer drugs" were seized and $36 million in cash were taken nationwide in the first-ever sweep of manufacturers of the synthetic – and legally sold – recreational drugs known as “bath salts” – said a DEA spokesperson.


    The operation, which authorities compared to “cutting [distribution] off at the source” (as opposed to at the “retail level”) was executed in at least one home in Scottsdale and many more in Phoenix – where officials served warrants to target potential makers of fake marijuana, cocaine

    and methamphetamine which nonetheless were being legally sold (for as little as $20) in the area’s most popular smoking shops.


    The raids, known as “Operation Log Jam,” were conducted by the DEA and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with assistance by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Adminstration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Customs and Border Protections and countless local and state agencies.
    Legislators, police officers and doctors have been expressing frustration as federal bans have failed to curb the cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine substitutes off smoke shop shelves in the area and around the country. The bath salts-fueled "Zombie Apocalypse" started on Memorial Weekend, in Miami, Florida, when a man believed to be under the influence of the lethal substance chewed off over 70% of his victim's face before being fatally shot by police.


    Since then, similarly gruesome attacks multiplied across the nation with last week's warning from Tempe police about the lethal and dangerous nature of bath salts being the most recent. They arrested two people; one who they say ran naked through a neighborhood and another who crashed his vehicle into an apartment-complex gate. In addition, a Chandler a man believed to be high on the substance was arrested after burning his son’s wrist when they boy reached for his bible.


    http://www.policymic.com/articles/1...fiscates-36m-worth-of-zombie-apocalypse-drugs

Comments

  1. Basoodler
    DEA Cracks Down On Synthetic Drugs And Seizes 36 Million In Cash


    In a series of nationwide raids that began on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) led task force successfully seized $36 million in cash, almost 5 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids and a sizable quantity of the synthetic hallucinogen known on the street as “bath salts.” The crackdown, which was conducted under the name “Operation Log Jam”, resulted in the arrest of over 90 individuals as well as the seizure of 53 weapons and $6 million in other assets.

    Operation Log Jam included DEA agents, the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the FBI, the Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and local police agencies. The raids took place in over 100 cities in 30 different states and succeeded in removing 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids and 167,000 packets of bath salts from circulation. The raids also netted enough raw materials to manufacture 13.6 million additional packets of synthetic cannabinoids and 392,000 more packets of bath salts.

    DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart discussed the raids at news briefings on Thursday, June 26 and Friday, June 27, 2012. The DEA director has been very outspoken about the dangers of synthetic drugs and she told reporters, “What’s troubling is they’re marketing to young people, young people have an outlet at these smoke shops, these retail outlets. So little is known about these substances, because of the dangers, you’ve seen the headlines, people who have committed murders, suicide, those calls to poison control.”

    According to officials, the raids were also intended to disrupt the flow of assets used to finance the manufacture of the drugs and to confiscate the enormous profits generated by their sale. The IRS is devoting substantial resources to tracking individuals at all levels of the financial chain. “The major goal is to document the movement of money during the course of the crime, link between where the money comes from, who gets this,” said Richard Weber, IRS Chief of Criminal Investigation. The $36 million seized in Operation Log Jam is a tiny fraction of the hundreds of billions of dollars that go untaxed every year from the profits of illicit drug trafficking.


    Bath salts, marketed under names that include K-2, Spice and Vanilla Sky, have been linked to several recent violent and shocking episodes. In one particularly disturbing case, that took place in Munnsville, New York on June 12, 2012, a young woman, who was reputed to be high on bath salts, died of cardiac arrest after a prolonged struggle with police. Witnesses at the scene reported that the woman, 35, ran down the street naked after she threw her toddler son to the pavement and repeatedly tried to choke him. When police arrived, she violently resisted arrest, forcing the officers to resort to pepper spray and a taser to subdue her. The woman, who was suffering from a heart condition, is believed to have died from the effects of the drug and extreme physical exertion.


    As a result of this and several other incidents, on July 9, 2012, President Obama signed a bill into law that banned synthetic drugs like “bath salts” and “fake weed.” The bill outlaws 31 substances that were being used as synthetic drugs or to manufacture synthetic drugs.


    Unfortunately, there are still substantial loopholes in the law. Manufacturers of the drugs attempt to avoid having their products declared illegal by labeling them “not for human consumption.” Federal prosecutors are forced to devote valuable time and resources to the difficult task of proving the products are actually for human consumption in order to obtain convictions.


    Despite the success of dozens of raids like Operation Log Jam every year, drug use continues to spiral out of control in the United States. Our economy is being drained of untold trillions of dollars and the cost in human suffering is enormous. Addiction is rampant and prisons are filled to overflowing with drug offenders. Needed medical resources are often devoted to treating overdoses and psychiatric episodes related to drug use. The use and abuse of prescription drugs is sky rocketing and addiction is claiming Americans from every walk of life.

    The time has come for a new national consensus on drugs. Whether you support legalization or criminalization of drugs, it is painfully obvious that America’s War On Drugs is not working. We need to totally rethink our policies and our laws to stress education, prevention and treatment, instead of crime and punishment. The problem is that America is broke and the economy is in a shambles. When our nation will finally devote its resources to provide humane treatment for drug users and drug addicts is anyone’s guess, but one thing is sure. It won’t happen in an election year.

    http://www.inquisitr.com/287269/dea-cracks-down-on-synthetic-drugs-and-seizes-36-million-in-cash
  2. Basoodler
    DEA raids synthetic pot and bath salts manufacturers and sellers


    [imgl=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=30585&stc=1&d=1356449729[/imgl]In a massive nationwide crackdown on synthetic pot, the feds arrested 90 people and confiscated a mountain of dangerous designer drugs.

    They also seized $36 million in cash from dozens of manufacturers and sellers who flouted a ban enacted several weeks ago, authorities said Thursday.

    “Operation Logjam” came four months after a Daily News investigation highlighted the danger and availability of fake weed.

    Agents fanning out from Texas to Brooklyn seized almost 5 million packets of synthetic pot and 167,000 envelopes of bath salts.

    “We will come after you,” said James Chaparro of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those arrested include four men who allegedly ran an Internet operation out of Tampa and Bayshore, L.I., selling packets labeled Black Mamba and Mr. Spicy Green.

    Three men who manufactured and sold huge quantities of mind-bending bath salts in Newark were also busted, federal prosecutors said.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who pushed through a federal ban of the substances, said the raids were a wakeup call for those selling the mind-benders.

    “If local retailers and manufacturers think that they can still get away with business as usual and continue to sell and produce these synthetic poisons, then yesterday’s DEA raids should be a lesson to them,” he said.

    As The News reported, synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the main ingredient in real pot have been linked to several deaths and thousands of health scares.

    The chemically treated herbs — known as K2, Spice, potpourri or incense — can cause hallucinations, seizures and violent behavior. Bath salts have been tied to gruesome crimes.

    Karen Dobner, whose 19-year-old son, Max, was killed in a car crash after smoking fake weed, said the raids were welcome news.

    “I know Max is smiling down on us,” said the Illinois mom, who started a foundation to educate the public about the dangers of the drugs.

    “This is a very happy day for us.”

    Not so for Richard Broider, president of the North American Herbal Incense Trade Association, which claims to have 1,200 members and says the product should stay legal.

    “It was a sad day for freedom,” he told The News.


  3. Basoodler
    DEA will try to prosecute under law that regulates chemically similar drugs

    SOMERSWORTH — Following reports of Operation Log Jam commencing this week, with the seizure of millions of packets of designer drugs — including synthetic marijuana and bath salts — by the Drug Administration Enforcement (DEA), officials say they are attempting to prosecute those in possession at the federal level under the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act (AEA).

    The AEA allows for substances to be treated as if they are on the Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug listing under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), if those substances can be proven to be chemically and/or pharmacologically similar to those known and scheduled illicit drugs.

    While these designer drugs are not specifically prohibited at the federal level, new legislation signed by President Barack Obama on Monday, July 16, will make possession of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs illegal on Oct. 1, 2012. The active ingredients found in the street drug known as bath salts — "MDPV" (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and "mephedrone" — will be added to the Schedule 1 listing along with 29 others, known to be in synthetic hallucinogens and synthetic marijuana, at that time.

    Schedule 1 serves to identify substances with "a high potential for abuse" and includes marijuana, amphetamines, heroin and morphine, among others. Doctors say the consumption of bath salts and synthetic marijuana create a stimulating experience similar to that of ecstasy when smoked or injected. Those drugs are said to mimic chemicals found in cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, according to the DEA.

    But lawmakers say the trouble with banning any kind of chemical compound is that eventually, manufacturers find a way to skirt the law. Assistant Attorney General Karin Eckel, of the New Hampshire Attorney General's office, referred to designer drug manufacturers finding ways to stay "one step ahead," by slightly tweaking drug compounds to fall outside of the inevitable federal ban.

    U.S. Attorney John Kacavas of the New Hampshire Department of Justice previously told Foster's he would welcome the legislation, as it would a provide a new tool to prosecute manufacturers and users.

    "No sooner do government bodies figure out what the chemical composition of this particular drug is, (before) we see analogs, or cousins, of these drugs," Kacavas said at that time. "We can prosecute them but it's very difficult to prosecute at the federal level."

    Kacavas called the uptick in bath salts and synthetic marijuana use a "phenomenon." In 2010, 57 poison centers reported receiving 303 calls concerning bath salts use. In 2011, from January to August, that number rose 4,720. At the national level, the number of calls nearly multiplied four times, with 3,200 calls reported in 2010 compared to 13,000 in 2011, according to the DEA.

    Also, effective Jan. 1, 2013, New Hampshire's "driving while intoxicated" (DWI) charge will include language to outlaw all chemical substances which are considered to impair a driver, including bath salts, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl.

    New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Matthew Shapiro, who also serves as the highway safety coordinator for the State Policet, previously said users of these soon-to-be illicit synthetic drugs found "loopholes" in the system for years.

    He told Foster's users easily abused the products without repercussions before driving and his department often came upon impaired drivers they could not prosecute. Today, he said the new laws will make it easier for prosecutors to convict them.

    By SAMANTHA ALLEN

    Saturday, July 28, 2012



    http://fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120728/GJNEWS_01/707289955/-1/fosnews1401
  4. talltom
    DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart warns how dangerous bath salts are and says "So little is known about these substances . . ." But her agency usually prevents research from being done on these and other banned substances. As a result we don't have information needed for successful treatments. Moreover, "bath salts" are blamed for causing horrific behaviors like the Miami face eater, when medical follow-up does not show signs of this. I'm not defending bath salts or other RCs, I'm saying more research needs to be done and the Federal government needs to encourage, not prevent it.
  5. Basoodler
    ‘Operation Log Jam’ Targets Designer Drugs Across Nation

    DENVER (CBS4) – Federal agents arrested more than 90 people and more than five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized in the first nationwide crackdown on designer synthetic drugs in U.S. history.

    “Operation Log Jam” was executed in 90 cities in 30 states, including Colorado. It targeted synthetic forms of drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine.

    The synthetics are marketed to young people under the names bath salts, spice, incense, and plant food. They’re often sold in tobacco shops, convenience stores, and even gas stations.

    Recently President Obama signed a bill that bans the sale, production and possession of many of the chemicals found in some of the most popular synthetic drugs like bath salts and plant food.

    Drug enforcement agents say the designer drugs are specifically marketed toward children. In Colorado designer drugs are now to blame for three people dying this year alone.

    The packaging is creative. It looks like lip balm, even energy shots, but inside are dangerous chemicals causing hallucinations, seizures and even violent behavior.

    “She told us that at one point, that the bugs were inside of her body coming out,” the mother of one victim said.

    Denver’s Special Agent in Charge Barbara Roach says parents should beware because they are seeing an abundance of designer drugs in Colorado.

    “A lot more of our kids are using. In a study last year they estimated the admission of one in nine high school students have used,” Roach said.

    The retail on bath salts and spice products seized by local drug enforcement agents is worth more than $50,000. Agents say the Denver distributor behind it made a million dollars last year.

    Bath salts in particular are making headlines. In Longmont on Monday police arrested Demian Weigle.
    Officers say he was using bath salts, became paranoid, believed his neighbor was spying on him, and set the neighbor’s house in fire.

    In Miami another man allegedly high on the drug bit the face of a homeless man. In Grand Junction a teenager died several months ago. And in Florida stacks of boxes are among the millions of packets seized nationwide in Operation Log Jam.

    DEA administrators have a message for its distributors.

    “You are nothing more than a drug trafficker and we will bring you to justice,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said.

    DEA agents say a packet might cost $1 to make this but it sells for $30. That kind of profit margin is a good reason why they are a growing drug class making law enforcement very concerned.

    7/27/12
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/07/27/operation-log-jam-targets-designer-drugs-across-nation/
  6. Basoodler
    North American Herbal Incense Trade Association

    statement:


    NAHITA representatives were shocked at the volume of lies and misinformation disseminated by the DEA and their federal law enforcement partners today. NAHITA fielded several calls from outraged consumers on the amount of resources expended on the latest failed effort on the supposed “War on Drugs”.

    Once again, we hear from a collaborated group of government organizations that exist only because of unconstitutional prohibition measures, who have gathered to spread fear amongst the American people. During this press conference, the DEA and their bureaucratic associates displayed their enthusiasm to “strike down” and “attack” American tax-paying store owners and consumers, as they create a new class of criminals where none exists before.

    During the press conference, greed was purported to be the driver of “this public safety issue”, when in fact, it is simple market demand. Americans want these products, which are completely safe when used within their intended purposes. American consumers know that using any product outside its intended purpose is risky. But as a free society, we have the right to incur personal risk in our lives, whether that means ingesting alcohol, tobacco, or investing in business. It is not the government’s constitutional role to be in the risk-management industry.

    The problems with prohibition have been clearly illustrated during the past 80 years of our nation’s history. So long as there is a demand, there will always be a supply. Nothing in the universe can stop that, it’s a simple supply and demand issue. Prohibition fails because it tries to cut off a supply, instead of educating against the demand. Everyone knows that when you artificially cut off a supply, it creates an illicit, unstable and violent black market. No one knows that more than law enforcement officials, and that’s why they have created a new class of criminals - more citizens to lock up means more government expansion and control. It has nothing to do with public safety. Americans are smart enough to manage our own risk and keep ourselves safe from our own decisions. We’ve been doing it for over 225 years.

    Regarding claims of “Dangers” to consumers – The fact is that legislators in different states have found it inexpedient to further legislation against herbal incense products, as synthetic cannabinoids are no more dangerous than other items that are already legal, including tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, glue, paint, etc. Synthetic cannabinoids like the ones found in today’s market have been in use in FDA cleared prescription products like Marinol in the United States for over 35 years. To date, there is no clinical or scientific evidence illustrating the supposed “Dangers” involved with Synthetic Cannabinoids despite several inaccurate media reports.

    The effectiveness of misinformation purveyed by the irresponsible media has recently been illustrated when bath salts received national attention in May following a brutal attack in Miami. National media claimed that a man allegedly under the influence of bath salts attacked another man and chewed the man’s face. However, toxicology tests later determined the attacker had only marijuana in his system at the time. Nonetheless, NAHITA representatives were extremely disappointed that there was no clear delineation during this press conference and other media between products containing synthetic cannabinoids and what has become known as “Bath Salts”. It’s clear, even to the mildly educated that these two products that have no relation to one another.

    It’s time for the American people stood up to stop the obliteration of their rights through failed and unconstitutional prohibition measures. When we get the government out of the risk-management industry, we will no longer be sold fear and misinformation. We urge all Americans concerned with this issue to celebrate their freedoms responsibly and tell their legislative representatives to stop operating outside the scope of their duties for special interests.

    NAHITA also calls for the media to adhere to journalistic integrity and get the FACTS before contributing to this witch-hunt against small business owners and consumers participating in free market demanded products.

    Obviously can't link
  7. Basoodler
    Operation Log Jam Nets Plenty of Assets and Money

    Boca Raton-based attorney Thomas H. Wright blasts the DEA over Operation Log Jam, "It's akin to reefer madness of olden days."
    Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) August 01, 2012

    According to the Palm Beach Post, in response to local authorities country-wide asking for help in battling synthetic marijuana, agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents, the Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 5 million packets of synthetic drugs, $36 million in cash, and $6 million in assets.

    More than 265 search warrants in 90 cities and in 30 states were executed in the investigation, dubbed “Operation Log Jam”.

    "Together we're sending a clear message to those who would profit from the sale of these dangerous substances: you are nothing more than a drug trafficker and we will bring you to justice," said Drug Enforcement Administration administrator Michele Leonhart at a news conference in Arlington, Va.
    However, Boca Raton-based attorney Thomas H. Wright blasts the DEA over Operation Log Jam, "It's akin to reefer madness of olden days."

    Wright has some concerns about the DEA's operation.

    "The DEA is taking the position that these guys are drug dealers. I've never heard of guys establishing corporations for cocaine. These guys are in plain sight and sell their stuff to gas stations and corner stores. Nobody goes to Exxon for an eight ball," Wright says.

    About the firm:

    Siegel Siegel & Wright, a criminal defense practice in Boca Raton, FL, provides aggressive representation in state and federal courts for clients charged with drug crimes.

    Siegel Siegel & Wright is one of the few firms nationwide with experience handling incense/synthetic marijuana law.

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/8/prweb9751201.htm
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