BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —
WFTV learned new information on raids aimed at seizing legal products that double as dangerous drugs.
On Wednesday in Melbourne, Drug Enforcement Administration agents seized hundreds of Cloud 9 packets, one of several designer drugs sold as incense, bath salts or plant food.
WFTV learned the raid, called Operation Log-Jam, was part of a nationwide sting.
Brevard County deputies raided a manufacturing facility in Melbourne that was distributing Cloud 9 incense, K2 and bath salts.
Agents pulled workers out in handcuffs and sorted through packages they said were about to be shipped to smoke shops and convenience stores across the state.
“This operation is the first nationwide coordinated U.S. law enforcement strike specifically targeting synthetic drugs sold in legitimate-looking packaging,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.
Nearly 100 people were arrested and more than 5 million packets of synthetic drugs were seized in raids in 60 US cities.
But agents said their work is not done yet.
“We are pursuing long-term criminal investigations that will lead to more arrests and more successful prosecutions,” said James Chaparro, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
Officials said these substances are marketed toward teenagers and young adults and are very unsafe.
“They are incredibly dangerous, with users having unpredictable and sometimes deadly reactions to these substances,” said Leonhart.
People who work near the warehouse busted in central Florida said the drugs should be called “brain killers.”
“Some of my friends have been smoking this stuff, and I tell you it’s got to be killing their brains. God, it makes them crazy,” said Brevard County resident Tim Reed.
Agents said the main purpose of the operation was to protect the public.
“Protecting the public from dangerous people, dangerous products and dangerous material is what we do,” said Chaparro.
Agents said the legislature has a hard time keeping up with these operations because as soon as lawmakers outlaw some of these substances, the manufacturers just change the ingredients and continue to sell them.