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Fri July 27, 2012
Nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs hits Missouri
Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:31 pm
At least a half-dozen people are behind bars in the St. Louis area following a nationwide crackdown on the sale of designer narcotics known as "bath salts" or K2.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency coordinated the Wednesday operation known as "Log Jam." Overall, nearly 80 people were arrested, and more than 5 million packets of the synthetic drugs seized, along with tons of raw material. It was the first coordinated strike.
"The law enforcement community's goal in this operation is to reduce the availability of these products by disrupting and dismantling the organizations that make them and bring them to market, as well as to raise public awareness of the hazards posed to the public safety by these powerful and dangerous drugs," said James P. Shroba, the acting agent in charge of the DEA office in St. Louis.
He said those arrested on Wednesday were a mix of experienced drug traffickers and first-timers, but that all were criminals.
St. Charles County sheriff Tom Neer says a search warrant served in his county, one of 32 issued in the region, put one of the largest distributors in the region out of business.
"For the last eight months, St. Charles County has been aggressively trying to resolve the problem with synthetic bath salts and synthetic drugs," Neer said. "With this federal effort, I believe we're going to be a lot more fortunate to get prosecution on a lot of the cases we've made."
Officials in St. Louis are still working to figure out the best jurisdiction to charge some of those arrested.
- Click here for a list of cities that were part of Operation Log Jam
Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann