KILLEEN (July 26, 2012)—A 109-city crackdown on the manufacture, distribution and sale of synthetic designer drugs included raids on a store in Killeen and a location in Franklin, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday.
The specific targets of the Central Texas raids weren’t identified.
Authorities also carried out raids in Brownsville El Paso, Houston, McAllen, Montgomery Needville, Rosenberg and Spring.
The joint nationwide effort called Operation Log Jam led to more than 90 arrests and the seizure of 5 million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs, enough raw material for 13.6 more packets, and $36 million in cash, the DEA said
Synthetic drugs, which are often marketed as bath salts, Spice or incense under such names as "Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," "Vanilla Sky," or "Bliss," have become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults because they mimic the effects of such illegal drugs as cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.
Herbal blends that are smoked for a marijuana-like high are also popular.
They consist of plant material coated with potentially dangerous psychoactive compounds sold under such names as "Spice," "K2," "Blaze," and "Red X Dawn."
The synthetics are sold at various retail outlets, head shops and online.
"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," DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said.
The operation was a joint effort between the DEA, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement 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.
"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,” Leonhart said.