Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DEA Announces Largest Ever Synthetic Drug Bust

BorderlandBeat.Com


Nationwide enforcement actions target dangerous new and emerging class of chemicals from overseas

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its law enforcement partners today announced enforcement operations in 35 states targeting the upper echelon of dangerous designer synthetic drug trafficking organizations that have operated without regard for the law or public safety. 

These series of enforcement actions included retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. In addition, these investigations have uncovered the massive flow of drug-related proceeds back to countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Since Project Synergy began in December of 2012, more than 75 arrests have been made and nearly $15 million in cash and assets have been seized--all leading up to today’s global takedown.  Today, law enforcement executed over 150 arrest warrants and nearly 375 search warrants in 35 states, 49 cities and five countries. During the past three days prior to today, over 550 kilograms of synthetic drugs were seized in a joint operation with Customs and Border Protection aimed at international shipments of synthetic drugs at express consignment facilities. Since February, over 1,000 kilograms of synthetic drugs have been seized at express consignment facilities.

Project Synergy was coordinated by DEA’s Special Operations Division, working with the DEA Office of Diversion Control, and included cases led by DEA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, and IRS.  In addition, law enforcement in Australia, Barbados, Panama, and Canada participated, as well as countless state and local law enforcement members.

“Shutting down businesses that traffic in these drugs and attacking their operations worldwide is a priority for DEA and our law enforcement partners,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.  “These designer drugs are destructive, dangerous, and are destroying lives. DEA has been at the forefront of the battle against this trend and is targeting these new and emerging drugs with every scientific, legislative, and investigative tool at our disposal.”

“CBP and DEA enjoy a close working relationship that was further enhanced through the collaboration of the National Targeting Center and CBP officers in the field at express consignment hubs during this operation to target, test and detain shipments of synthetic drugs, as well as precursor herbs used to manufacture synthetic marijuana,” said CBP David Murphy, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Field Operations.

“The criminals behind the importation, distribution and selling of these drugs have scant regard for human life in their reckless pursuit of illicit profits,” said Traci Lembke, HSI Deputy Assistant Director of Investigative Programs.  “For criminal groups seeking to profit through the sale of illegal narcotics, the message is clear: we know how you operate; we know where you hide; and we will not stop until we bring you to justice.”

“The harm inflicted by these designer drugs is matched only by the profit potential for those who sell them,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS-Criminal Investigation.  “Today’s enforcement actions are the culmination of a multi-year effort in which IRS-CI worked with its domestic and global law enforcement partners to disrupt the flow of money - the lifeblood that allows these multi-million dollar organizations to proliferate.”

“On behalf of the Australian Government, I congratulate the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Project Synergy. This is a significant seizure of synthetic drugs and is a terrific result for our respective law enforcement agencies. Australia remains committed to sharing intelligence with its U.S. partners to combat transnational crime across international borders. This is a win for our collective communities,” Australia’s Acting Ambassador to the United States, Graham Fletcher, said.

Background on designer synthetic drugs

Designer synthetic drugs are often marketed as herbal incense, bath salts, jewelry cleaner, or plant food, and have caused significant abuse, addiction, overdoses, and emergency room visits. Those who have abused synthetic drugs have suffered vomiting, anxiety, agitation, irritability, seizures, hallucinations, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. They have caused significant organ damage as well as overdose deaths.


Smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high have 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 impregnated with dangerous psychoactive compounds that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. 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. In 2012, a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported 11,406 emergency department visits involving a synthetic cannabinoid product during 2010. In a 2013 report, SAMHSA reported the number of emergency department visits in 2011 involving a synthetic cannabinoid product had increased 2.5 times to 28,531. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 5,205 calls related to human exposure of synthetic cannabinoids.

For the past several years, there has also 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. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 2,656 calls related to synthetic cathinone (“bath salts”) exposures in 2012 and overdose deaths have been reported as well.

These products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults and those who mistakenly believe they can bypass the drug testing protocols of 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.

Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act

While many of the designer drugs being marketed today that were seized as part of Project Synergy are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 (AEA) allows many of 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 Project Synergy will be prosecuted federally under this analogue provision, which is being utilized to combat these new and emerging designer drugs.

DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to combat both synthetic cathinones (the so-called “bath salts” with names 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


32 comments:

  1. And yet the DEA is still failing, to stop the flow of drugs that destroying Chicago, just because its blacks and Mexicans that's killing each other, and its white people that's using that useless synthetic marijuana, they want to make this look like they did something successful fuck them all, I would and will never shed a tear for any DEA agents that get killed in the line of duty.

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    1. Look how big is the USA right, plus they get send out of the USA to do a big big big bust in the America's to stop the flow right. Now think about out how many DEA & FBI agents are maybe all to together like around 5,000 special agents there are not enough agents out there to stop every drug flow coming in & out of the state's. What Obama needs to do is send troops the the border & protected for 1 yr & it would cost mayhem to all cartels mafia in the world why because they won't be able to make or receive any money USA uses the most drug's in the whole world.

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    2. Dea sells their services to the highest bidder just tale a Look at the Vicente zambada case they had a deal with cds

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    3. Fuck you.... peice of shit....

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    4. Chicago blah blah, south east los angeles has been worse than chicago forever. You just dont see compton and other cities on the news because its been happening for so long and no one cares anymore.

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  2. The article isn't fitting on the website correctly and is unreadable as every line is cut off. Not a problem with the articles below it so I don't think it's a problem with my display.

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    1. It's you. It's fine on my computer and off a bit on my phone. Nice of you to take the time to whine. Handle your own issues & stop bothering these hardworking people. You are truly lame. Buy a laptop. I can't stop laughing that someone can be this weak..

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  3. heres a good one chivis. the flow isnt going to stop any time soon.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=193559277

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  4. The US Government should target the families of the Narcos.
    Execute their wives and children if they continue to send this Poison into the country.

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    Replies
    1. The junkies first. So no one else will try to suply the market.

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  5. yeah, thats crazy, that stupid insense turn regular housewives into horrible junkies, thos synthetic canabanoids were developed by this old guy who published his compounds online, he had over 100 different ones, some idiots in china or whatever had ripped off the formulas, used their chemistry and flooded the market. the guy who originally made these said that govts. should legalize marijuana because it is a whole hell of a lot safer than his compounds

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  6. thanks for wasting more tax payer dollars on this nonsense

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    Replies
    1. At least the minority kill eachother... Dollars well spent my freind...

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  7. dog nose > cartels

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  8. why is the screen always split on BB? its so difficult to have to scroll left and right to read an article or view pics, wtf

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  9. My Apologies readers. It looked fine on my end and blogger preview, but I created the entire thing over for those that could not read it.

    Most of you were very polite in your messages I appreciate that very much.

    I hope this works as I am very ill and probably won't be back soon..Paz, Chivis

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  10. Chivis,

    I hope whatever ails you, comes to pass, and that you get well soon.

    sincerely,

    an appreciative blog reader

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  11. So ridiculous.....there will always be some sort of work-around, and with sites like silk road the "drug war" continues to waste billions of tax dollars to prevent people from consuming what they want.

    Butttt........if big pharm / tobacco / alcohol throw enough money in the right direction, then they're just fine & legal (albeit more damaging than some synthetic weed).

    What a bunch of hypocritical B.S.

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    1. @ 5:39pm
      That is well said agreed and so true the silk road has been arnd a long time now also

      Vegas Guys

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  12. FFS.. Just regulate, legislate and above all, legalize and tax the real thing. Pot in it's natural form is less harmful than either Alcohol, or Tobacco. Legalize limited grows in your backyard plot or basement closet. No bullshit med exemption required. Who are we kidding here with that happy crap - it's equally good for medical or recreational users in moderation. If a person is engaged in enjoying a little recreational pharmaceuticals in bud form and if there is no harm being done otherwise to self or others, there should be no foul as far as the Law is concerned.

    Cut the underground drug world out entirely, and just legalize it already. A much reduced problem, or end of problem in terms of the Cartels (and at least as far as weed is concerned), and LEO can concentrate resources on the Cocaine/Heroin/CM going north and money and guns going south issues. We've got a historically banned substance which is pretty much harmless, and now we are forced to put more resources and tax dollars into combating importation and sales of imitation products that do much more harm.. Really? Is this not proof-positive that the North American legal stance on weed is just plain absurd?

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  13. Is this a last ditch effort by American law enforcement/govt. agencies bad mouth marijuana, due to its cannabinoid connection, and keep it illegal, or is it an attempt to promote a new "illegal narcotic" and a new source of drug revenue. You know how people are. The minute you tell them something is bad for them, the more they want to try that bad stuff. There was a major crackdown in the state of Texas a couple years ago in which these synthetic drugs, synth. marijuana, were the target of these drugs. People were selling them in stores everywhere. Municipalities and the State have imposed strict penalties/fines for those who manufacture, distribute, and sell synthetic drugs. Could this be the new it drug, or is it a passing fancy and a fad that will fade away. We'll just have to wait and see.

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  14. Spice only kills and sends u to ER if u let it beat u, I've done spice alot back then when it was getting famous and once felt like I was literally going to die ,DOES NOT MAKE U EAT PEople or whatever the fuck bath salts does to u that's forsure....all u feel is really super stoned ,makes the strongest kush feel like the dirtiest dirt weed compared to spice

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  15. @311pm you my friend sound like a idiot with incense , let me know what housewife turned "junkie" so I can slap her. I did it daily for a year or so and stopped one day to next , not addicting like u make it seem pal.

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  16. American junkies so desperate to get high and pass a drugtest thats why we have these synthetic crap now

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  17. Who in the hell would be stupid enough to use that shit? They should just let the ppl who want to get high smoke real weed.i dont bother with none of it as it is a personal choice for everyone

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  18. June 26, 2013 at 1:55 PM said "I would and will never shed a tear for any DEA agents that get killed in the line of duty."
    should i shed a tear for anyone in your family that dies from these drugs? I guess not.

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  19. Justice? How are you bringing a drug merchant to justice? They did nothing wrong? Poisin? Cannabis is not poison! It's medicine and you should stop coca cola
    and bud light and malboro now thats proven a thousand times to be way way WAY! MORE dangerous than anything leading the way in deaths. stop bein ignorant people these DEA and government agencies have found themselfs a philosophers stone with these drugs since they can make infinite amount of money busting people tryn to be drugmerchants

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  20. NOBODY has ever died of a Marijuana overdose

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    Replies
    1. Died growing, processing, transporting, and selling/buying...yep seems safe..

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  21. The dea needs to make their quota rather than going toe to toe with drug gangs, street gangs or cartels they will usually go for easy picking in order to make it seems like they are doing a great job at taxing the us Tax payers

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  22. designer drugs are destroying my daughter in Albuquerque NM - anyone that thinks they are harmless, has not tried them - they are worse than the worse meth.....

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  23. Very soon your daughter will become a prostitute to support her drug habit...sad.

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