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  #1  
Old 21-12-2012, 17:42
Basoodler Basoodler is offline
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St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

ST. LOUIS • By outward appearances, it was just an average office area, with multiple computers. But St. Charles County Sheriff’s deputies and federal drug agents who cracked down on the undisclosed location along Scherer Parkway in St. Charles knew it was a mask for something much bigger.
Just how big surprised even them.

Their joint effort had uncovered one of the biggest distributors of synthetic drugs in the Midwest. Investigators are still learning how big, Sheriff Tom Neer said Thursday

He said the computers provided a revealing window to a massive internet operation that peddled the illicit products to sellers.

Authorities also recently found two storage areas linked to the distributor: one, in St. Charles, with more than $1.5 million worth of illegal product, and the other, just outside of Overland, with more than $5 million worth. Officials believe there are others yet undiscovered.

With the conclusion this week of a nationwide effort to dismantle synthetic drug distributors, Neer shared details of the raid with a reporter. The investigation continues, but Neer expects to present evidence to prosecutors soon.

“Operation Log Jam,” which played out Wednesday in more than 100 cities, was a first-ever, nationwide effort to wipe out an industry responsible for drugs that are marketed as bath salts or incense but which mimic the effects of cocaine, marijuana, LSD and methamphetamine.

Common names of the products include K2, Spice, Ivory Wave or Cloud 9, officials said.
Across the country, state and federal authorities arrested more than 90 people and seized more than 5 million packets of synthetic drugs, raw material to produce 13.6 million more and $36 million in cash.
In the St. Louis region, officials on Wednesday confiscated more than 123,000 packets worth about $4.6 million, nearly 7,000 pounds of raw material and more than $85,000. Illicit business was brought to a halt at more than 25 locations — mostly convenience stores, gas stations and head shops. More than a half dozen arrests were made and more are expected.

“Anyone who distributes synthetic drugs is a narcotics trafficker, plain and simple,” James Shroba, acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s St. Louis Division, said at a news conference Thursday in St. Louis revealing the results. “We plan to put them out of business.”

Neer said his county began its effort about eight months ago, carrying out raids at places such as Hook-Up, Retro-Active, and South 94 Bait, Tackle and Smoke Shop.

Several months of investigation led to the major distributor in St. Charles, where search warrants were served a few weeks ago.

In St. Clair County, six search warrants were prepared Wednesday by State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s office as part of the sweep. But the office had already begun its own initiative to target convenience store sales in April.

“I am encouraged that the federal government has now joined the fight in a big way, because people pumping poison into our community must be confronted,” Kelly said in a prepared statement.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan started a program this year called “Operation Smoked Out,” which as of this spring resulted in the statewide seizure of 13,101 packets of drugs with an estimated value of more than $336,000.

Use of the synthetic drugs has risen sharply in recent years. Nationwide, calls to poison control centers about synthetic marijuana totaled 6,890 last year, up from 2,915 in 2010. Calls related to “bath salts,” drugs that mimic cocaine and methamphetamine, soared to 6,072 in 2011 from 303 the year before. In the past year, emergency room visits due to synthetic marijuana use went up 6,000 percent, Shroba said.
The problem cuts across urban and rural areas, from coast to coast, officials said.

Several deaths have been attributed to use of the synthetic drugs, and many St. Louis-area communities have banned their sale.

In recent years, Illinois and other states banned specific formulations only to have drugmakers come up with slightly different ones. An Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1 bans all chemicals that are structural derivatives.

Missouri lawmakers also have made so-called “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana illegal.

Scott Collier, diversion program manager for the DEA’s St. Louis division, said many businesses have tried to evade the law with labels declaring the products not for human consumption. That spared them from prosecution until recent changes in federal laws.

Some retailers, he said, have convinced themselves that what they are doing is legal.
Neer said distributors and sellers know the products are harmful yet hawk them to impressionable teenagers as legal and safe.

He said, “Anyone with the common sense of a manhole cover knows you don’t pay $65 for three grams of something to make your shoes smell good or your bath water bubble.”

July 27, 2012 12:02 am • BY JENNIFER MANN •

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/c...a4bcf6878.html
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  #2  
Old 21-12-2012, 17:46
Basoodler Basoodler is offline
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

DEA Follows Up On Promise To Go After Synthetic Drug Pushers


EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI)– Synthetic drug sellers just took a big hit. Local and Federal agents raided shops nationwide.

Fox Files Investigator Chris Hayes was in Edwardsville when the DEA followed up on a recent promise
Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Shroba said, “We`re coming after you.”

That was Shroba’s warning to synthetic drug pushers just last week. Today, law enforcement from more than a dozen agencies were all over St. Louis and the rest of the country. They were seizing synthetic drugs and anything tied to those drugs.

We watched it go down at ‘Tha Grind` in Edwardsville. (Yes, it’s spelled “Tha Grind.”)One user told us it`s the third place she’d just visited in her attempt to buy synthetic pot.

She said, “They`re all being busted simultaneously.”
Chris Hayes asked, “You`ve seen it?”
[Woman] “I`ve got pictures of it.
[Hayes] Three places.
[Woman] Yes, three places and I mean ‘busted,’ not ‘oh we`re closed down,’ but instead, ‘We`re taking all your stuff.”

People who work around “Tha Grind” say the place is so busy that customers barely walk in. Customers reportedly have cash in hand and then hand it over at the door in exchange for a small packet of something.

The anonymous user added, “At 11:00 a.m. everyday, 15 people deep waiting. At 10:30 they`d start to line up.”

Fox 2 watched at least a half dozen customers trying to get in `Tha Grind` before it was even supposed to open. One guy even walked behind our interview with the Madison County State`s Attorney. The potential customer was extremely agitated that he couldn`t get in. He said he needed a t-shirt.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons commented about the man, “[This is] happening all day long and I think that goes to shows you how wide spread this is.”

Gibbons said they`ll say more tomorrow as they`re neck deep in a major synthetic drug crackdown. He said, “When we attack a problem, we attack on all fronts and that`s what`s happening here.”

It`s been just two weeks since a Federal synthetic drug ban made this operation possible. The woman who said she`d seen raids like this at two other places, told us she used synthetic drugs because she believed they were legal. No more.

I asked her, “So this is enough to make you stop?”
[Woman] “I`m done, as of right this second — I. Am. Done.”

We’ll hear more about these nationwide raids at a news conference Thursday. This is a tremendous drug net involving local police, sheriff departments, state troopers, DEA – even Treasury and IRS agents. We’ll also likely soon learn about international ties to this synthetic drug conspiracy.

We’ll continue to bring you details here on Fox 2, that you won’t get anywhere else.

Posted on: 5:20 pm, July 25, 2012, by Chris Hayes
http://fox2now.com/2012/07/25/dea-fo...-drug-pushers/

Last edited by Basoodler; 21-12-2012 at 17:58.
  #3  
Old 21-12-2012, 17:49
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

Man describes addiction to synthetic drugs

EDWARDSVILLE (MCT) — A Bethalto man who says he's hooked on synthetic marijuana says he routinely bought products at an Edwardsville store raided this week by federal and local authorities.

The closure of the store may be the best thing to happen to him, he said, as he attempts to clean up his life.

"I've been involved in this for a while. It's been a really bad scene for a long time," said the man, who asked not to be identified.

Authorities on Wednesday served a search warrant on The Grind, 1009 Century Drive, located in a strip shopping center near Edwardsville High School. The store purports to be a skateboard and T-shirt shop, but both the customer interviewed and the Madison County state's attorney say there was a steady stream of people going into the business for other products.

"There was a lot of business going on there. Either they were selling a lot of T-shirts or something else," prosecutor Tom Gibbons said.

The Grind was one of four locations on which search warrants were served and products seized on Wednesday. The other three locations are not yet being identified, but Gibbons described them as shops similar in nature to The Grind. Two of the sites are in Granite City; the other is in Cottage Hills.

The biggest seizure went down in Edwardsville, where some 50 pounds of products were removed, Gibbons said.

Numerous similar locations were targeted at the same time in St. Clair County and in counties surrounding the St. Louis area, as part of a national effort called Operation Log Jam.

In Illinois, where Attorney General Lisa Madigan has actively pushed stores to remove synthetic drug products from their shelves, the products have become increasingly difficult to find.

The Grind customer interviewed by The Telegraph said he bought products there frequently. They were marketed as "herbal incense," but actually are leafy substances coated with chemicals that prove addictive if the product is smoked, he said. The customer said the products are made by Cloud Nine Blend.com, under product names such as Primo, Optima and Crazy Eyes.

The product package clearly says the product is "not intended for human consumption."

"It used to be in a showcase at the cash register. Since Lisa Madigan has gone around raiding these places, they were keeping it behind the counter," the customer said.

Gibbons said the products seized at the shop are in the county's custody and will be tested as evidence, with charges coming, if appropriate.

Gibbons said now that the search warrant on The Grind was executed, the owners are free to open "the legitimate part of their business."

However, neither owners nor employees were present on Wednesday, and the shop had a closed sign on it Thursday, he said.

Gibbons said the raid was a multi-jurisdictional effort, involving both federal and local officers.
The Grind customer said he went to the store Wednesday morning to find authorities present. An Edwardsville police officer was posted in front of the business. Five or six individuals were inside, filling up trash bags of products.

"The cop asked me if I was an employee and told me to leave. I got out of there. People were scattering.
"I was there to buy more of this," he said about the incense. "They have smoking paraphernalia, water pipes, but everyone is in there for the same thing, this herbal incense."

He said he became addicted to smoking the products he bought at the store.

"It's much stronger than actual marijuana. I would describe myself today as having withdrawals from not being able to buy anything (Wednesday)."

He recently underwent drug treatment at Christian Hospital in North St. Louis County, Mo., he said. Counselors, he said, seemed a little unsure how to treat him because of the relatively new nature of the problem.

"I felt a little ashamed, being in treatment for this, sitting next to heroin addicts and people who have been on crack and cocaine. I almost felt like I didn't have credibility in a rehab program. I'm glad this happened," he said. "People need to become aware of this.

"I'm not alone; there are a lot of others out there in the same boat," he added.

The man said he is an engineer by trade and was granted a leave of absence from work because of his growing addiction.

Even with treatment, he said the addiction has become unmanageable. He is undergoing personality changes and not able to see or think clearly.

"I've spent a lot of money, thousands," he said. "I've wasted a lot of money."

His biggest hope, he said, is to cut off the local supply so as not to be tempted.

"I've not done much physical activity the last six months. I'm pretty broken down right now. I need to fix my tires and get back down the road."

By Dennis Grubaugh — The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.Created: Friday, July 27, 2012 10:41 a.m. CST
http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/201...c49fb7/?page=3
  #4  
Old 21-12-2012, 17:55
Basoodler Basoodler is offline
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

Police say no to synthetic drugs like 'bath salts'


(MCT) — Local and federal authorities seized $4.6 million worth of alleged synthetic drugs Wednesday in the St. Louis area as part of a nationwide crackdown on synthetic drug manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

The drugs seized included suspected synthetic marijuana and stimulants, the latter of which has been compared to a hallucinogenic methamphetamine. The raids were announced Thursday at a news conference hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at its St. Louis offices and attended by law enforcement officials from both sides of the Mississippi River, including Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons, Madison County Sheriff's Lt. T. Mike Dixon and Edwardsville Police Chief James Bedell.

The seizures were the culmination of a months-long investigation called Operation Log Jam, the first-ever nationwide law-enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry. The drug makers create synthetic drugs that are often marketed and mislabeled as incense, bath salts or plant food, according to authorities.

"Synthetic drugs are not pot, they are dangerous, unpredictable chemicals," St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said. "I am encouraged that the federal government has now joined the fight in a big way because people pumping poison into our community must be confronted."

Among those targeted were four businesses in Madison County, Gibbons said. Six search warrants also were executed in St. Clair County, Kelly said.

About a half-dozen arrests were made in the St. Louis area, but no charges were filed as tests were pending on the seized evidence and also to determine whether state or federal authorities will handle the cases. None of the arrests were in Madison County, and it was unclear if any were made in St. Clair County.

Nationwide, authorities made 77 arrests, targeted 29 manufacturing facilities, seized $14.5 million in cash and recovered about five million packets of alleged drugs, mostly synthetic marijuana, according to the DEA.

The peddlers of these drugs are a mixture of experienced drug traffickers and first-timers trying to make a quick buck, said James Shroba, the acting special agent in charge of the DEA's St. Louis division.
The national raids follow local ones launched by Kelly and St. Clair County law enforcement agencies in April, in which 13 convenience stores allegedly selling synthetic drugs were targeted. In June, Kelly's office charged the owners of three Crown Food Marts in East St. Louis with selling illegal synthetic and look-alike drugs.

Specifics about what was seized Wednesday from the metro-east businesses were unavailable Thursday because the search warrants had yet to be filed in circuit court. Kelly's office did not immediately provide the list of businesses targeted in St. Clair County.

Gibbons said the following Madison County businesses were raided: Tha Grind, 1009 Century Drive in Edwardsville; Duck 'N Vals Shed, 3117 W. Chain of Rocks Road Shed 1 in Granite City; Box of Rain, 435 W. MacArthur Drive in Cottage Hills; and Hippie Spirit, 518 E. Chain of Rocks Road in Mitchell.
Tha Grind is being investigated as a possible manufacturer of the synthetic drugs in addition to being a retail outlet, unlike the other Madison County businesses which only appear to have been selling the products, Gibbons said.

"The Grind is a big deal," said Bedell, adding the business had previously been warned not to sell the substances. "They sold a lot of product out of there."

Representatives for Tha Grind, Hippie Spirit and Box of Rain could not be reached for comment and the latter two businesses posted messages for their customers stating they would be closed temporarily. None of the businesses have been shut down, Gibbons said.

Duck 'N Vals Shed put the following message on its Facebook page: "Sorry, we will be closed for a couple days. Megsi (Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southern Illinois) decided our tobacco smoking products were illegal and totally wiped out our inventory. Will see you all again real soon. Thank you for your continued business!"

Duck 'N Vals owner Jeffrey Held said officers seized about $5,000 worth of products, including incense and pipes, from his business which operates out of a storage shed. Held said the company that distributed the incense provided him with documents stating the products were legal.

"As far as I know it was like incense or potpourri," he said.

But authorities say selling the products as incense, or in the case of the stimulants as bath salts, and labeling the products "not for human consumption" are merely ruses meant to mask the products' intended purpose and to evade federal regulations governing products intended for human consumption or medical use.

The DEA displayed packets of alleged synthetic marijuana sold in packages labeled Crazy Eyes, Primo, and Cloud 9 Mad Hatter, all of which were being advertised on a website directly linked to Tha Grind's Facebook page.

Also displayed were seized bags of damiana leaf, a plant native to Texas, said Scott Collier, diversion program manager for the DEA's St. Louis division. Authorities believe manufacturers mix synthetic cannabinoids with acetone and then spray the substance onto the leaves in order to create a product that can be smoked.

The synthetic stimulants appeared to be a whitish powder that were sold in small jars for $40 a half-gram.
Users thinking they are putting something natural into bodies are mistaken, Gibbons said. Customers have no idea what they are buying because the products' labels provide no information about what is inside, he said.

"You have no idea what you're putting into your body," he said.

Two Madison County residents died of overdoses of bath salts last year, but that total was dwarfed by the number of people who died of prescription drug and heroin overdoses in the county. Although hospitals have reportedly treated many more nonfatal synthetic drug overdoses, neither St. Clair nor Madison County has confirmed additional fatal overdoses.

Governments across the country started outlawing synthetic drugs the last couple of years after poison centers and hospitals began reporting thousands of calls and overdoses involving synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The federal government joined in the fight by at first placing a temporary ban on both synthetic marijuana and certain synthetic stimulants and placing a permanent ban on 26 of these substances earlier this month.

One problem for law enforcement has been that drug manufacturers keep changing the formulas to avoid the bans.

Gibbons said prosecutors could look to charge the suspects under laws outlawing synthetic drugs and their analogues. Also, Illinois law outlaws the marketing and selling of products labeled not for human consumption, but which are being sold for that purpose, he said.

"They know full well the market they are trying to push this to," he said.

Not everyone was happy with the raids. For instance, the following messages were posted on Tha Grind's and Duck 'N Vals' Facebook pages, respectively:

"This blows! You guys really were awesome! I'm sad that you had to go down this way!"

"What an outrage! They should be doing more important things like getting heroin out of granite!"
Held said he plans to reopen his business, but this time without offering the troublesome incense.
"I'm not going to carry that crap anymore," he said.

By Kevin Bersett
http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/201...xsl=/print.xsl
  #5  
Old 21-12-2012, 18:08
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

FOX Files Followup: DEA Operation Log Jam

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– The DEA is now revealing its nationwide synthetic drug crackdown, after a FOX 2 exclusive featuring Wednesday’s St. Louis area raids.

Investigator Chris Hayes explains how police were hitting stores in nearly 100 cities from Texas to New York.

FOX 2 was the first media outlet in the country to break the fake “bath salt” story, after a hardcore cocaine user described “Ivory Wave” as ten times stronger than cocaine. Since then, we`ve learned he was not exaggerating as we`ve watched police struggle to stop it — until now.

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, James Shroba said, “Anyone who distributes synthetic drugs is a narcotics trafficker plain and simple and we intend to put them out of business.


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At a news conference Thursday, Shroba was surrounded by police and prosecutors from all over the St. Louis area. Even postal inspectors and the IRS are working to stop a synthetic drug conspiracy the Feds call a billion dollar industry. Police and DEA agents filled a table with synthetic drug products worth millions.

Shroba explained, “A kilogram of raw material, for example of the synthetic pot, they can turn that around into $750,000 worth of profit — 1 kilogram. So it`s incredibly lucrative for these individuals and they`re buying it in bulk. As soon as they get it they`re turning it around, spraying it on plant material, putting it in bags and shoving it down kids throats.”

FOX 2 captured exclusive raid footage Wednesday at `Tha Grind` in Edwardsville (and yes, it is spelled ‘THA Grind’). It’s a head shop that could be described as `busier than McDonalds` — until agents seized boxes of synthetic drugs and anything that users could buy to abuse them. ‘Tha Grind’ turned out to be just one of hundreds of targets.

Shroba described Wednesday’s sting as, “The first nationwide coordinated strike against domestic manufacturers, distributors and retailers of so called fake pot and bath salts.”

It`s called Operation Log Jam. It was made possible by a new Federal law called the “Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act.” It was enacted in July of 2012 and it took just 16 days to see the nationwide result.

This is far from the final chapter, as street chemists are already whipping up new synthetic drug strains they think will evade police. In fact, a St. Louis County shop, we`ve repeatedly exposed in the Fox Files is still selling synthetic cocaine this minute. However we now know, synthetic drug pushers won`t get away with it without a fight from the government.

Posted on: 5:38 pm, July 26, 2012,
http://fox2now.com/2012/07/26/fox-fi...ation-log-jam/
  #6  
Old 21-12-2012, 18:12
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

Federal Agencies Raid Missouri for Synthetic Drugs



The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) completed its first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against drugmakers that allegedly produce illegal synthetic drugs including bath salts. Nine cities in Missouri, the most of any state involved in the raids other than Texas and New York, had businesses investigated Wednesday.

* Operation Log Jam was a joint operation by the DEA and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Agencies such as the IRS and U.S. Postal Inspection Service aided in the investigation.

* The Associated Press reports there were six arrests and more than 210,000 packets seized within the jurisdiction of the St. Louis office of the DEA. The St. Louis office covers Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and southern Illinois.

* In the same Midwestern region, officers seized $1.4 million in cash and four vehicles. Synthetic drugs known as "Spice," "Vanilla Sky" and bath salts are often sold in head shops, smoke shops and convenience stores.

* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports one huge distributor of synthetic drugs was investigated in St. Charles, Mo. Although the office looked ordinary with a few computers, investigators found one storage area nearby with more than $1.5 million of product. Another storage area was in Overland, Mo., with more than $5 million of drugs.

* The business was discovered to be one of the largest distributors of illegal synthetic drugs in the Midwest. The small office was simply part of an Internet seller. The investigation is ongoing.

* In the St. Louis area alone, authorities seized more than 123,000 packets worth nearly $4.6 million. Around 7,000 pounds of raw material was found with more than $85,000. More than 25 locations allegedly doing business in the synthetic drug trade were brought to a halt.

* According to KOLR in Springfield, Mo., 20 search warrants were served in Missouri alone of the 236 nationwide. One store in Rolla and two places in Lebanon, both in central Missouri, were raided by authorities. Pleasure Zone in Rolla had more than nine pounds of synthetic drugs confiscated worth around $86,000.

* In total, more than 90 individuals were arrested and more than five million packets of designer synthetic drugs were seized by officers across the nation. Federal authorities took more than $36 million in cash among the raids in 109 cities.

* Synthetic drug use is on the rise nationwide. In 2010, poison control centers responded to 3,200 calls regarding synthetic drugs. A year later, the number more than quadrupled. Sixty percent of the victims were under the age of 25.

Fri, Jul 27, 2012

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

http://news.yahoo.com/federal-agenci...163200189.html
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:29
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Re: St. Louis area Raids: Tha grind etc (Operation Log Jam)

Update: Officials Reveal Locations of Springfield Synthetic Drug Raids

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Novelty stores across the country were raided Wednesday as part of an illegal synthetic drug sting by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement.

On Friday, the DEA office in St. Louis confirmed that Karma's Bazaar -- known as KB's -- at 2305 S. Campbell Ave. was among those raids. KOLR10 News is told that 4,000 packets of synthetic drugs were seized. So far, there have been no arrests.

Meanwhile, Springfield police confirm they raided Trendz, a head shop at 734 West Kearney St., on Wednesday. Police say the DEA was not involved in this case in which a husband and wife were arrested. No charges have been filed.

Twenty search warrants were served in Missouri alone on Wednesday in the nationwide crackdown. In the last 48 hours, more than 236 search warrants were served nationally.

LEBANON, Mo. -- Raids on novelty stores Wednesday in Springfield, Lebanon, and Rolla were part of a nationwide sting by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement.

The DEA and local law enforcement were targeting manufacturers, distributors, and retail outlets. Millions of dollars in cash and assets were seized and more than 1,000 pounds of product were taken in the nationwide raid.

Deputies and agents in Rolla raided the Pleasure Zone (11000 block of Dillon Outer Rd.) Wednesday, taking a variety of synthetic drugs weighing more than nine pounds with a street value of about $86,000.

Two raids took place in Lebanon -- one at a store called Lucky's Novelties (735 South Monroe St.) and another at Jefferson Package Store (934 North Jefferson Ave.) -- by the Lebanon Police Department, Laclede County Sheriff's Office, DEA, the U.S. Postal Service Inspector, and the IRS.

Lebanon police say synthetic drugs and their misuse are a big problem in the region. They say they hope the crackdown with local and federal authorities is just the beginning.

"I come here everyday," says Crystale Whittenburg. Her luck had run out Thursday when one of her favorite stores, Lucky's, had its doors locked on Thursday. "I am not understanding, why I don't know why they're shut down."

Crystale says she goes there to get an incense product called Impact.

"It's an aromatherapy. It helps me relax. I have trouble relaxing. I burn it as an incense. I don't smoke it. It says not for human consumption for a reason."

Police say these products are often more than the buyer bargains for.

"Some of the synthetic drugs that are being sold are laced with a controlled substance and I don't think people know that sometimes," says Det. Tim Early. "Maybe they don't know they're putting a controlled substance in their body because they are purchasing something that's legal and a lot of times we don't know. The only way we know is to purchase the product and send it to the lab and a lot of times they'll come back with a controlled substance in them."

Det. Early says Lebanon police worked this investigation for more than three months. When a product bought there tested positive for a controlled substance, that's when they went forward with the raids.
"We don't know exactly what DEA took out of there," he adds. "We know they took a lot of product out of there. Seized some items and some property and it was a really good -- what we call bust."

Manufacturers and distributors have made it especially difficult for local law enforcement to stem the tide of this synthetic drugs.

"We hope that the other businesses in town realize the police department is not going to put up with this being sold, laced with a controlled substance. In this city it's just not going to be done. We're going to push it out."

Though Lebanon police started this investigation months ago, it's now in the hands of the DEA. The LPD is now waiting for the DEA give it information about exactly what was taken from the store and whether those store owners will face indictment.

A store in Springfield was also raided. KOLR10 News will be in further contact with the DEA and tell you more about this story as it develops.

By: KOLR10 Newsroom

Updated: July 27, 2012







http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=680522

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