Drug agents seize synthetic drugs from Southeast Missouri stores - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Drug agents seize synthetic drugs from Southeast Missouri stores

5,300 packets of synthetic marijuana were seized from convenience stores in southeast MO 5,300 packets of synthetic marijuana were seized from convenience stores in southeast MO
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

On Wednesday, officers in Southeast Missouri took part in a nationwide synthetic drug takedown.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration office in St. Louis, more than 115,700 packets of synthetic cannabinoids, and more than 95,300 packets of synthetic cathinones (bath salts) were seized as part of this effort.

Nationally, more than 90 individuals were arrested and more than $36 million in cash was also seized as part of the Operation called Log Jam. 

"We are trying to keep up with what Joe Chemist is putting together," said David Gourley-Resident Agent in Charge-U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration office in Cape Girardeau.

On Wednesday 5,300 packets of synthetic marijuana were seized from convenience stores in Cape Girardeau County, Doniphan, Poplar Bluff and Portageville.

Gourley says officers recovered about 59 pounds of the drugs, which have a retail value of about $321,000.

Operation Log Jam was conducted jointly nationwide 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.

"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."

DEA agents hope this roundup sends a powerful message to other retailers who may also have the drugs.

"Just because we didn't hit your shop this time doesn't mean we won't hit it next time, and we're constantly out there making buys sending undercover agents in, so it's not something that's going to go away, " said David Gourley.

The names of the businesses involved in southeast Missouri have not been released, and charges are likely after the DEA sends off the synthetic drugs for testing.

According to the DEA, 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.

 Copyright KFVS 2012. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly