POSTED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 9:32am
UPDATED: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 1:01pm
DEA conducts its largest crackdown on synthetic drugs.
This group had come in under the radar and was the source and supply for the majority of the nation.
From a warehouse in hurricane, Utah federal drug officers say synthetic drugs reached victims all over the country.
We decimated a group when we removed this element from the St. George area.
Using raw materials from China, investigator say 14 people from Utah were involved in the manufacturing and distribution of spice packets sold under various brand names including gods of aroma and fusion, quickly raking in 14 million dollars.
The profit margin on this is incredible. They'll pay $1,500 a kilo for the raw material, by the time it's all done and it goes to market, the yield from that is $250,000.
The operation allegedly used UPS and Fed Ex to ship over a million grams of spice to smoke shops in 20 US cities, places where teens can easily purchase the dangerous chemical concoctions.
And when we go into these processing facilities and these labs you look at it and you realize 'Gosh, I hope none of our children ever ingest this.'
They're profiting from this and going on living high lives at the expense human lives; because people are dying from this.
The Southern Utah takedown is part of a national operation called project synergy that's resulted in 75 arrests and nearly 50 million in cash and assets seized.
Hurricane police chief Lynn Excell says the discovery of a large scale drug operation in his city only makes him more determined to keep it from happening again.
This is not the end, our people are getting better trained, and better at this, we're cooperating better with our partners and we will, we will find them.