- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
Feds arrest dozens, seize $15M in nationwide synthetic-drug sweep
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its law enforcement partners have made 75 arrests and confiscated more than $15 million in cash and assets in a sweep of 35 states targeting gangs that traffic in designer synthetic drugs, the DEA said Wednesday.
As a part of “Project Synergy” that began in December, the DEA raids targeted retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers with agents uncovering the massive flow of drug-related proceeds back to countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.
It was the largest-ever crackdown on those who make and sell synthetic drugs. DEA officials did not name any country or suspected terror group that might have profited from the sales, citing an ongoing investigation.
“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.”
On Wednesday, law enforcement authorities executed 150 arrest warrants and 375 search warrants in 35 states, 49 cities and five countries. During the past three days, the agency said DEA agents seized more than 1,200 pounds of synthetic drugs in a joint operation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection aimed at international shipments of synthetic drugs at express consignment facilities.
Since February, more than 2,200 pounds of synthetic drugs have been seized at express consignment facilities.
Designer synthetic drugs often are marketed as herbal incense, bath salts, jewelry cleaner or plant food, and have caused significant abuse, addiction, overdoses and emergency room visits. Synthetic drugs have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process.
Project Synergy was coordinated by DEA’s Special Operations Division, working with the DEA Office of Diversion Control, and included cases led by the DEA, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, law enforcement in Australia, Barbados, Panama and Canada participated, as well as countless state and local law enforcement members.
“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, ICE’s 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.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.