DEA announces major synthetic drug crackdown including Colo. arrests

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DENVER -- Drug Enforcement Administration agents made hundreds of arrests across the nation Wednesday as part of an investigation into synthetic drugs. Several arrests happened in Colorado.

The number of Colorado arrests will be announced during a news conference at 2 p.m., said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for U.S. Attorney John Walsh. will livestream the news conference.

DEA spokesman James Gothe said arrests were made in Denver and Douglas counties.

The arrests were made in connection with the production of synthetic drugs often called Spice.  The drugs are a synthetic canabonoid that is sprayed with vegetable oil on paper and wrapped in foil. It's most commonly sold at gas stations and corner stores.

Health experts blame the drugs, which are sold under the names K2, Black Mamba, Crazy Monkey and a host of other names, on three deaths and more than 150 people being treated in Denver area emergency rooms.

The DEA said is made arrests in 25 states. Agents served warrants at homes, warehouses and smoke shops.

Last year the agency launched a campaign to crack down on synthetic drugs after they gained popularity among young people.

Ferdinand Large, staff coordinator for DEA's Special Operations Division, said the agency is now broadly focused on Chinese chemical manufacturers and the distributors, wholesalers and retailers in the United States.

FOX31 investigation found loophole allowing Spice to be sold legally

In September, a FOX31 Denver investigation discovered a loophole in Colorado law which allows the illegal drug Spice to be sold here legally.

A 2011 Colorado law is supposed to make Spice illegal in the state, but FOX31 Denver’s Investigative team found state statute does not stop stores from selling it nor kids from smoking it with devastating consequences.

Our Investigative team went undercover and bought Spice from mini-marts in both Denver and Aurora.  The so called synthetic marijuana is really a chemical concoction often made in China and packaged as incense or potpourri.

The label says “Not for human consumption” but that does not keep teenagers too young to buy alcohol or medical marijuana, from trying it.

The Colorado Attorney General has also filed a lawsuit against a Longmont store for selling Spice. State officials confiscated about 1,000 containers of Spice and the owner was arrested, said AG spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler.


  • John Federson

    Just legalize pot, dismantle the totally corrupt DEA, and this whole problem is solved.
    It would be cooler if we could punish any DEA agents that have harmed peaceful people, but that’s not going to happen. We should at least marginalize those maniacs.

  • Anonymous

    ull never when the war on drugs just stop its up yo the people taking the drug weather or not they consume it or not


    I had just discovered{by selective trial) that the JWH 018 synthetic THC was a very effective treatment for my severe case of schizophrenia with accompanying disgraphia, and further, that at a higher dose ,that it was capable of regrowing that area of the brain where depression and the seat of the disorder lies.Yet I find the D.E.A. has banned them. How do we stop these people ? I will not allow for them to decide what is good for me.. I object. The D.E.A.has turned into a group of authoritarian sociopaths., A renegade law enforcement organization.. America’s asinine drug policy’s should be held in check at the U.S. border. The world is fed up with these equally asinine drug laws and especially the enforcement methods used to criminalize and subjugate everyone.It will now take many generations to undo the damage already done by this evil group of authoritarian sociopaths, I remain in objection

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