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  1. stryder09
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]DEA NEWS: Nationwide Synthetic Drug Takedown[/FONT]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]19 million packets of synthetic drugs seized and $36 million in cash [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]WASHINGTON – More than 90 individuals were arrested and more than five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized in the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as bath salts, Spice, incense, or plant food. More than $36 million in cash was also seized.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]As of today, more than 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids (ex. K2, Spice) and the products to produce nearly 13.6 million more, as well as 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (ex. bath salts), and the products to produce an additional 392,000 were seized.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Operation Log Jam was conducted jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, as well as countless state and local law enforcement members in more than 109 U.S. cities and targeted every level of the synthetic designer drug industry, including retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“Although tremendous progress has been made in legislating and scheduling these dangerous substances, this enforcement action has disrupted the entire illegal industry, from manufacturers to retailers,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we are committed to targeting these new and emerging drugs with every scientific, legislative, and investigative tool at our disposal.” [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“Today, we struck a huge blow to the synthetic drug industry. The criminal organizations behind the importation, distribution and selling of these synthetic drugs have scant regard for human life in their reckless pursuit of illicit profits,” said Acting Director of ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations James Chaparro. “ICE is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring this industry to its knees.”[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]"The synthetic drug industry is an emerging area where we can leverage our financial investigative expertise to trace the path of illicit drug proceeds by identifying the financial linkages among the various co-conspirators,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the highest level drug trafficking and drug money laundering organizations that pose the greatest threat to Americans and American interests."[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service aggressively investigates the use of the U.S. Mail system for the distribution of illegal controlled substances and its proceeds. Our agency uses a multi-tiered approach to these crimes: protection against the use of the mail for illegal purposes and enforcement of laws against drug trafficking and money laundering. This includes collaboration with other agencies,” said Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“The mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is to guard our country’s borders from people and goods that could harm our way of life,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “We are proud to be part of an operation that disrupts the flow of synthetic drugs into the country and out of the hands of the American people.” [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Over the past several years, there has been a growing use of, and interest in, synthetic cathinones (stimulants/hallucinogens) sold under the guise of “bath salts” or “plant food.” Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” or “Bliss,” these products are comprised of a class of dangerous substances perceived to mimic cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes. The long-term physical and psychological effects of use are unknown but potentially severe. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]These products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults and those who mistakenly believe they can bypass the drug testing protocols that have been set up by employers and government agencies to protect public safety. They are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops, and over the Internet. However, they have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high have also become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, because they are easily available and, in many cases, they are more potent and dangerous than marijuana. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with dangerous psychoactive compounds that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Just as with the synthetic cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as incense to mask their intended purpose. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]While many of the designer drugs being marketed today that were seized as part of Operation Log Jam are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 (AEA) 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. A number of cases that are part of Operation Log Jam will be prosecuted federally under this analogue provision, which specifically exists to combat these new and emerging designer drugs. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to combat both synthetic cathinones (the so-called bath salts like Ivory Wave, etc.) and synthetic cannabinoids (the so-called incense products like K2, Spice, etc.), temporarily placing several of these dangerous chemicals into Schedule I of the CSA. Congress has also acted, permanently placing 26 substances into Schedule I of the CSA. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]In 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to synthetic “Spice” and “bath salts.” In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. Sixty percent of the cases involved patients 25 and younger.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    Directly from the US DEA website...


  1. Alfa
    Re: Operation Log Jam - DEA

    I am amazed it took them this long, as I actually expected the DEA to come down on the bath salt, spice blends and research chemicals industry at least a year ago.
    90 people. I wonder how many will be prosecuted and convicted under the analog act.
  2. Fentiful
    Re: Operation Log Jam - DEA

    "I am amazed it took them this long, as I actually expected the DEA to come down on the bath salt, spice blends and research chemicals industry at least a year ago."

    Perhaps though as is alluded to in the article, they were trying to net as many players as possible, in order to extrapolate as much information as possible, to try and have a huge impact on and bring down the top tier of the organizations, as well as connecting other dots??
  3. Alfa
    Re: Operation Log Jam - DEA

    The article seems to suggest that they are trying to net a very large amount of money under the guise of money laundering. And since the cannabinoid vendors have proven in 2010 that they were making well over hundred million a year back then, its not unlikely that Law Enforcement is going to be successful in this. I wonder how far outside the USA this investigation will reach and if it will enter China.
  4. hookedonhelping
    More dangerous?!?! Are you kidding me?! Since when has cannabis been even remotely dangerous in comparison to the unknown health risks associated with synthetic cannabinoids?! Unless your driving around stoned on marijuana, it's relatively harmless.

    The DEA would gain a bit of respect from the masses if they conceded to the error in their ways. The only other danger of marijuana is the fallout from prosecution of it's possession and use. Not to mention the trauma caused by cowardly agents who act like tough guys when they arrest peaceful non resistant offenders by sticking loaded guns to their heads during arrests.

    Instead they aim to protect the revolving door of prisons, to secure their jobs. There is a hot place in hell for these thugs.. The lives they ruin "protecting" the public from pot smokers is more damning than anything. The only quote in the above press release that I agree with is the utter disregard these manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for the lives of others in pursuit of the all mighty dollar.
  5. stryder09
    While I agree with your post, the statement is a mere direct comparison...synthetic cannabinoids are more dangerous than cannabis.
  6. hookedonhelping
    This is a map of the United States showing the states where these arrests were made.
    (source DEA web site)
  7. davestate
  8. Phenoxide
    Phew, that's some pretty firebrand stuff there! It reminds me of this thread from just a few weeks back in which I suggested to another member not to underestimate the DEA. Anyone that holds the view that the manufacturers will always be one step ahead of the legislators or that the DEA will back down should watch this press conference and reconsider. The IRS involvement also has an implicit tone that the RICO Act may be employed to take down the major players.

    Here's some key notes for those that don't want to sit through the 20 minutes. On the positive side the overall tone makes it clear the operation is targeting the suppliers rather than consumers.

    Key stats

    • Joint operation by law enforcement, DEA, ICE, and IRS
    • 91 arrests
    • over 265 search warrants executed in 90 cities across 30 US states
    • 29 manufacturing facilities among the searched premises
    • 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids seized
    • cannabinoids estimated to be sufficient for manufacture of a further 13.6 million packets also seized
    • 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones seized
    • cathinones estimated to be sufficient for manufacture of a further 392,000 packets also seized
    • $36 million cash seized
    • $6 million assets seized
    • 53 weapons seized
    • DEA estimates that one kilo of 'raw cannabinoid powder' has a retail value of $750,000
    Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

    • First nationwide co-ordinated US law enforcement strike targeting designer synthetic drugs, specifically synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones
    • Just the first of many strikes DEA will take against these criminals
    • Operation was prioritized as a result of an "outpouring of requests for support from chiefs and sheriffs around the country"
    • Log Jam focussed on communities impacted the most by synthetic drugs
    • Products described as "insideous" and "marketed directly to teenagers and young adults with benign and catch titles such as 'Spice', 'K2', 'Blaze' and 'Vanilla Sky'
    • "incredibly dangerous with users having unpredictable and sometimes deadly reactions to these substances"
    • Sophistication of the industry has grown rapidly in the two years DEA have been closely monitoring it. Many large scale operations based within the US.
    • DEA "moving beyond just legislating and scheduling and taking decisive action at every level of this illegal industry, from the manufacturers, to the distributors, and to the retailers"
    • DEA has already identified a large number of additional substances that are not yet specifically controlled but that doesn't mean that DEA will turn a blind eye to these dangerous substances. Using the Analog Enforcement Act, DEA "can and will pursue those who skirt the letter of the law".
    • Message to those involved in this industry: "you are nothing more than a drug trafficker and we will bring you to justice"
    • DEA view it to be as serious an emerging problem as prescription drug abuse
    • DEA is "committed to combatting this alarming and dangerous trend"
    • DEA hope to see additional legislation that will be tools for DEA as investigators
    • Primarily viewed as a domestic problem but acknowledged that the sources for these chemicals are international and that this is another focus of the investigation. The international aspect of the trade will be a focus for imminent operations.
    • Press conference called and media invited because they're "the ones who can write about the dangers of these substances", and "educate the public, especially young people, about the dangers"
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

    • Acknowledgement that the organizations involved in the industry are "complex and transnational"
    • Large number of imports eminating from China and South Asian countries
    • Big emphasis on restricting the import and distribution of synthetic drugs. Long term investigations are underway that will lead to further arrests and prosecutions of those involved in this trade.
    • Careful inspection of imports at mail facilities. Since these are non-traditional type narcotics laboratory staff are taken to such facilities to assist with the identification of commodities which were being received
    • Finished products are being imported in small consignments in addition to those being manufactured within the US.
    • Small seizures of a couple of kilograms are helping to unravel the larger criminal network operating inside and outside the US.
    • "Synthetic drugs are a rapidly emerging threat"
    • "Although the formulas [sic] that make up these illicit chemical cocktails may be complex the message here today is quite simple: drugs are dangerous and they are illegal. If you are involved in the import, manufacture, distribution, or retail of these illicit chemicals, we will come after you."
    • ICE is active in 47 countries across the globe
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    • Over 100 IRS agents involved in the Operation
    • Their role is to "identify and document the movement of money during a crime, and the efforts employed to hide and conceal the profits"
    • This documentation can provide "proof of criminal activity"
  9. mantraom
    Operation Web Tryp 2.0 It was truly unbelievebale that they didn't anounced it on television before doing this Strike to the Scene. Sadly for all the true researchers of the community that are really interested in exploration of these powerfull tools. Another set back for the freedom of consciousness exploring.
  10. Alfa
    Another key point in regard to ICE:

    • Active in 47 countries across the globe.
    • Long term investigation.
    As mentioned above, the DEA says the international aspect of the trade will be a focus for upcoming Operations.
  11. Basoodler
    I wonder if this will scare the more brazen retailers from seling these products. They have been hot and heavy busting supply and retail for six months or so. I've noticed that even though they may have enforced in a large portion of the area, there were always pockets of brazen retailers. These guys claim to have storage units where they store product.. (2nd hand info)
    .. they are selling it because the profit is better than everything esle. They are gennerally not head shops or tobacco stores.

    I will check one such place out this weekend to see if they pulled product.
  12. nomud
    Whats weird is the fact that FDA approved drugs prove to be very dangerous as
    most drugs are including aspirin.

    Seems the timing is politically motivated to show the incumbent party is
    protecting the "stupid" public from themselves.

    Where the public needs to be protected from the stupid
    politicians. ;)
  13. sikk66
    I really hope that products such as Kratom do not get targeted by the DEA soon... A lot of the head shops that carry these bath salts and herbal incense also carry Kratom.
    I would be sad to see a natural leaf like Kratom, get bundled in with these sort of "mad scientist" substances...
  14. godztear
    This is an snip from another news article out of Duluth, MN. The article itself doesn't add much so I did not post the entire thing. The bolded part is the most interesting, are these people stupid?

  15. Alfa
    If they have good legal advise and are certain that the replacement product will be 100% legal then they can keep selling. Yes, they will be raided again. Maybe the risk of prosecution is balanced by the commercial gains.

    From the numbers in the above press release, its clear that there are millions of packs going around. And that's likely just stock for weeks or possibly a month. This indicates that there could be well over 100 million a month going on in this trade. Or possibly even more. I'm not sure what that means for one store, but surely its a goldmine.

    I'm very surprised at the minute amount of bath salt products confiscated in relation to the massive amount of spice blends confiscated.

    Does this mean that the bath salt industry is very small in comparison to the cannabinoid blend industry?
  16. stryder09
    The exact reason I blame the head shops an smoke shops for ALL of the scrutiny on RCs. They seem to thumb their noses at the law. How about being a little low key or quiet about it? Geeze.

    Also, as someone mentioned above...Kratom. Kratom gets mixed up with legal high products and RCs because it is sold side by side (in plant form, extract form and capsule/powder form) with these products. 100% blame on the shops for their stupidity of making the link between them.
  17. stryder09
    I can tell you that around this state in which I live, it is much more difficult to find "bath salt" or related products. Cannabinoid products are all over the place in shops and even some gas stations. Wonder if it's the same scenario in other states?
  18. godztear
    I can attest for the midwest when I say the cannabinoid market is booming in comparison to the bath salt market, its still very easy to get cocaine and the horror stories surrounding bath salts keeps people away. I have been to gas stations where there are 5 or more people at a time buying only smoking blends, I could only imagine how the whole day sales go.
  19. Basoodler
    I saw a lot of shops drop bath salts early on for various reasons. They basically said that it was freaking them out to have people waiting for the store to open in the morning to buy some bath salts. Also the largest retailer of synthetics in my home town dropped them because the store was broken into twice and the only thing stolen was bath salts. Both of these examples were from before the June 2011 ban in the US of MDPV.

    In this part of Ohio the only places I've seen any synthetics for sale are in really really bad areas. For example Dayton Ohio is dry for the most part, but 10 miles north is Springfield (a hell hole ghetto, sanctuary town) where they are sold at most drive troughs and some gas stations.. its weird
  20. MrMunchies
    The gas stations are still selling blends MD, although, ever since the introduction of that bill, those crazy Indians have been more careful.
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