Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

US synthetic-drug bust nets vast stash; more than 150 arrested

Published on May 8, 2014 9:16 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of individually packaged, ready-to-sell synthetic drugs and their ingredients were seized in 29 US states on Wednesday as part of a major bust that also netted US$20 million (S$25 million) in cash and assets.

Law enforcement agencies made more than 150 arrests over the course of the wide-ranging sweep, part of a crackdown on designer synthetic drugs by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Many who manufacture, distribute and sell these dangerous synthetic drugs found out first hand today that DEA will target, find and prosecute those who have committed these crimes," said DEA administrator Michele Leonhart.

The synthetic drugs seized under the DEA's "Project Synergy" operation are part of a swelling group of illicit compounds that traffickers have begun marketing in the West in recent years as herbal incense, bath salts, jewellery cleaner or plant food, a statement by the DEA said.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!