ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — “No one has an idea of what their reaction is going to be once they take these drugs.” That’s the message Drug Enforcement agents want the public to understand when it come to consuming synthetic drugs. The nationwide raid this week that resulted in thirty-two arrests locally was to let synthetic drug manufacturers, distributors, and retailers know that drug enforcers are coming after them.
The DEA announced Thursday that Operation Log Jam seized more than $36 million in cash, arrested 91 people, and led to 5 million packets of synthetic drugs being removed from the public.
“This is their warning shot across the bow, we have tired this before with many of these businesses and they’ve ignored us,” Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Program Manager, Scott Calier said.
James Shroba of the Drug Enforcement Agency in St. Louis told KMOX that businesses associated with the making and selling of bath salts (synthetic amphetamine) and K-2 (synthetic marijuana) believe they can evade the law because they state on the package that the product is not intended for human consumption. But Shroba says,”they know full well what they’re doing and they’re turning an enormous profit.”
The DEA temporarily banned some of the chemicals found in synthetic marijuana, and President Barack Obama this month signed into law a measure that bans the sale, production and possession of many of the chemicals found in the most popular synthetic drugs.
Shorba wants parents to be aware of what their kids are carrying around. “They spend $36 for 3 grams of this fake pot product, and none of these synthetic substances were ever meant for human consumption. So there is no gauge for how potent they may be.”
“You’ve seen in the media, bizarre behavior exhibited by people. Lets face it. People who smoke pot don’t suddenly start growling and chasing people,” Calier said.
Media types aren’t the only ones reporting on the effects of synthetic drugs. According to Shorba, “the cost poison control centers and emergency rooms visits are up nearly 6-thousand percent nationwide, just as a result of these drugs.”