ICE participates in nationwide synthetic drug takedown


ICE participates in nationwide synthetic drug takedown

 

WASHINGTON – More than 90 individuals were arrested and approximately five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized in the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as bath salts, Spice, incense, or plant food. More than $36 million in cash was also seized.

As of today, more than 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids (K2, Spice) and the products to produce nearly 13.6 million more, as well as 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (bath salts), and the products to produce an additional 392,000 were seized.

Operation Log Jam was conducted jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with assistance from the IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, as well as 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.

“Today, we struck a huge blow to the synthetic drug industry. The criminal organizations behind the importation, distribution and selling of these synthetic drugs have scant regard for human life in their reckless pursuit of illicit profits,” said Acting Director of ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations James Chaparro. “ICE is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring this industry to its knees.”

“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.”

“The synthetic drug industry is an emerging area where we can leverage our financial investigative expertise to trace the path of illicit drug proceeds by identifying the financial linkages among the various co-conspirators,” said Richard Weber, chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the highest level drug trafficking and drug money laundering organizations that pose the greatest threat to Americans and American interests.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service aggressively investigates the use of the U.S. Mail system for the distribution of illegal controlled substances and its proceeds. Our agency uses a multi-tiered approach to these crimes: protection against the use of the mail for illegal purposes and enforcement of laws against drug trafficking and money laundering. This includes collaboration with other agencies,” said Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell.

“The mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is to guard our country’s borders from people and goods that could harm our way of life,” said Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “We are proud to be part of an operation that disrupts the flow of synthetic drugs into the country and out of the hands of the American people.”

Over the past several years, there has been a growing use of, and interest in, synthetic cathinones (stimulants/hallucinogens) sold under the guise of “bath salts” or “plant food.” Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” or “Bliss,” these products are comprised of a class of dangerous substances perceived to mimic cocaine, LSD, MDMA and/or methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia and violent episodes. The long-term physical and psychological effects of use are unknown but potentially severe.

These products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults and those who mistakenly believe they can bypass the drug testing protocols that have been set up by employers and government agencies to protect public safety. They are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. However, they have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process.

Smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high have also become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, because they are easily available and, in many cases, they are more potent and dangerous than marijuana. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with dangerous psychoactive compounds that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Just as with the synthetic cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as incense to mask their intended purpose.

While many of the designer drugs being marketed today that were seized as part of Operation Log Jam are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 (AEA) allows these drugs to be treated as controlled substances if they are proven to be chemically and/or pharmacologically similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance. A number of cases that are part of Operation Log Jam will be prosecuted federally under this analogue provision, which specifically exists to combat these new and emerging designer drugs.

DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to combat both synthetic cathinones (the so-called bath salts like Ivory Wave, etc.) and synthetic cannabinoids (the so-called incense products like K2, Spice, etc.), temporarily placing several of these dangerous chemicals into Schedule I of the CSA. Congress has also acted, permanently placing 26 substances into Schedule I of the CSA.

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

INFO FROM http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1207/120726washingtondc.htm

TOP TEN DRUGGIES



10. BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD
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Now, I guess, if you were so inclined, and stupid, you could make an argument here that we never really saw Beavis and Butthead do any drugs on the actual show. To me, though, that just means that you have either never seen the show or have never done drugs before. The fact that they couldn’t show two cartoon characters doing drugs on MTV back then was most likely the reason for this, but the reason should have been that it would have been a waste of screen time. We clearly knew what was going on. I had not yet been introduced to the world of drugs and druggies when Beavis and Butthead was in it’s heyday, so I don’t know this for sure, but it almost feels like that the show so perfectly nailed two stoners hanging out that stoners who watched it felt self-conscious while being stoned, not wanting to act exactly like these cartoon characters. But then they would smoke another bowl, forget why they self-conscious, and then prove that no one nailed the youth of America in the early nineties better than Mike Judge. – RH 

9. RUSSELL BRAND
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Russel Brand is not a fictional character. He is also no longer a drug user. But his tales of his drug-filled path are so numerous, and hilarious that I felt he needed to be included. He’s best known for his role as Aldous Snow, the rehabilitated rock star, in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (That character is essentially just a characterized version of him); and for hosting an awards show on that shitty station that used to play music videos. In England, he’s a little more well known having done a variety of television shows, and being one of the leading stand up comedians. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him here very soon. Heroin was his drug of choice for many years, and much of his comedy is fueled by the lengths he went to obtain it, and the things he did while using. He details all of this in his autobiography “My Booky Wook“. Read it- I fell out of my chair in tears I laughed so hard. This may be the least funny paragraph I’ve ever written…but he isn’t! How could accounts of terrible drug induced rages, weeks of binging and dangerous sexual addiction not be hilarious! – MG

8. SHAGGY
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Shaggy, another cartoon character who we never saw actually smoke weed, was so obviously a stoner it’s amazing they got away with what they did. Shaggy remains one of my favorite stoners because the fact that he smoked weed didn’t define him. Smoking weed was just something he did. He wasn’t a chicken shit pussy because he smoked weed. He didn’t  solve mysteries just because he smoked weed. He did all of those things, and then also smoked weed. I was going to say he enjoyed 60 layer sandwiches apart from the weed, but that would be bullshit. He totally ate those sandwiches because he was high as fuck. – RH

7. TYRONE BIGGENS
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Question: Do you know what dog food tastes like? Clue: It tastes like it smells. Answer: Delicious.

Tyrone makes a perfect druggie because he is totally and unabashedly shameless. Moreover, he doesn’t pal around with a bunch of different floozy drugs. His lady’s name is crack and she’s the only one for him. Apparently the best way to get as much crack as possible isn’t to earn money to buy crack at a job, or rob liquor stores, no, the way to get a lot of crack according to Tyrone is to learn how to do embarrassing, self depreciating dances in the street for change. But be warned, this is only an effective method to get crack or booze. It is not a way to earn money for any other pursuit. Why not? Wouldn’t the change earned be good for buying anything at all? We don’t know why not. Frankly, we don’t want to know. – BV

6. JAY AND SILENT BOB
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Jay and Silent Bob are two of the most well known ‘druggies’ of this generation. Since hitting the screens in black and white in 1994, they’ve come around every few years with their zany antics, and strange wisdom. To date they’ve existed on film, been animated, drawn in comics and in the written word. They are some of the most popular druggies in pop culture, though they’ve since been to rehab. They still continue to deal, which is pretty noble- making sure the dregs of society still get the fix they no longer partake in themselves. Hetero-lifemates they balance each other perfectly, with Jay’s  incessant, immature chattiness balanced by Silent Bob’s err….silence. Except when he imparts his world-wise advice on anyone who may need it. I spent a good chunk of my freshman year of high school in a long leather coat and a backwards hat trying to emulate Bob…never really could keep my mouth shut for long though. – MG

5. JESSIE SPANO
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On November 3rd, 1990, the drug war had officially ended in America. Many programs were started, PSAs shot, and pamphlets printed to try and help end this war. But no one could have ever foreseen that the final nail in the coffin in the attempt to keep kids off drugs would be the single most realistic episode from the single most realistic TV show of all time: “Saved by the Bell”. The show already had a season under its belt, letting kids know that if you were to wake up in the morning, and your alarm were to give out a warning, it’s O.K. if you don’t think that you may not make it up on time. But all of these episodes were just light jabs compared to the Haymaker that was “Jessie’s Song”. Jessie Spano, our nation’s greatest hero and quite possibly the bravest person to ever sport a 9 pound Scrunchy, had it rough. She had to go to high school, and participate in a singing group. Sure, most kids her age went to high school, but to expect someone to go to high school and do something else? Impossible. So Jesse, the gentle, gentle soul that she is, cracked under the pressure, and began…I’m sorry, it’s still hard for me to talk about…the memories are still so real…began taking caffeine pills. Her friends reacted exactly like they should, by rushing to her at her lowest moment and knocking the pills out of her hand. They knew it was her lowest moment because she was so high on these caffeine pills she could not help but scream the song she was supposed to sing, “I’m So Excited” at the top of her lungs. Since then, doctors have declared caffeine pills to be the number one killer of stupid, stupid bitches. Thank-you Jesse Spano. You changed the world. – RH

4. THE GANG FROM HALF BAKED
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I refuse to defend or even explain this pick. I will simply list some quotes from the movie and if you still want to disagree with us then I simply pity you.

-He got the wrath of the nunchucks yo!

-Yo Mister The Guy, did you kill my dog? No. I believe him yo. I don’t know why but I do.

-YEEEEEES! Cuban B!

-I love weed. I LOVE IT! But not as much as I love pussy.

-I wanna talk to Sampson! Fly me to the moon like that bitch Alice Crampton.

-Yeah, get me a box of condoms, and, what was that thing we used to eat back in the day? What was it… oh yeah, pussy.

-Oh my goodness! Now that is a titty! That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! Bully! That’s a certified fully!

Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck dick for coke. Now that’s an addiction. You ever suck some dick for marijuana?

-First of all to understand what happened to killer, you gotta understand who killer the dog was. Now killer was born to a three-legged bitch of a mother. He was always ashamed of this, man. And then right after that he’s adopted by this man, Tito Liebowitz he’s a small time gun runner and a rotweiler fight promoter. So he puts killer into training. They see killer’s good. He is damn good. But then he had the fight of his life. They pit him against his brother nibbles. And killer said “no man that’s my brother, I can’t fight nibbles” but they made him fight anyway, and killer, he killed nibbles. Killer said “that’s it!” he called off all his fights, and he started doing crack, and he freaked out. Then in a rage, he collapsed, and his heart no longer beat. wow. – BV

3. SARA GOLDFARB
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First of all, look at that fucking picture.  That is frightening.  Plus, she’s on the subway.   Not good.  What made the character of Sarah Goldfarb in “Requiem for a Dream” so fucking stand-out was the fact that she seemed real.  Who knows heroine dealers?  The answer is people that do and deal heroine.  Who knows a mom that watches too much TV and might pop a couple pills?  The answer is everyone.  And while the punishments that the character’s various drugs doled out were all terrible, Sarah’s seemed especially cruel because she was so goddamn relatable.  This former mother of a drug dealer became an emaciated wreck, lost her mind and her hair and ended up in the fucking looney bin having completely lost touch with reality.  Can you imagine losing your hair?  It’s haunting. -JRN

2. TOMMY CHONG
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You know, I’ve never been a big Cheech fan and whether it’s fair or not, I always compared him to Chong.  Tommy Chong was as likeable as he was high, which is to say extremely.  I always preferred his laid-back stoner to Cheech’s irritatingly hyper-aware pot head.  You know what Cheech wanted to do?  He wanted to talk about philosophy and the world and how big his hands were.  On the other hand, you have Chong, who probably just wanted to fucking veg out and eat hamburgers.  And while I’m not a stoner, I can deal with someone’s incessant need for hamburgers.  Plus, the dude makes fucking bongs and never sold out and became a fucking cop on a TV show with Don fucking Johnson.  Kudos to you, Tommy Chong.  Stoner through and through and the original American Sweetheart. – JRN

1. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
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Hunter Thompson is a druggie’s druggie. He gets all weird and gonzo, generally fucks shit up, but he’s also a respected professional. Sometimes he’d speak at colleges and the kids would throw joints up on stage by the dozens. He would faithfully collect every one. Hunter’s big break as a druggie came when he discovered cocaine. Though he was initially unimpressed with the stuff, it eventually got its grip around him and also opened him up to other fun stuff like mescaline. Perhaps his most impressive druggie feat came in his fifty’s when doctors discovered that Hunter was likely on his seventh or eighth liver. Apparently, when one liver became so poisoned from drugs and booze, it would simple die and be absorbed/processed by the new liver. In case you’re not a big anatomy student, this is not normal. Of course, had he successfully purchased that monkey at Circus Circus, that would have gone down as his most impressive feat. – BV