After DEA conducted it’s first First nationwide co-ordinated law enforcement strike targeting designer synthetic drugs, CBSAtlanta went undercover and was still able to purchase “bath salts” (synthetic stimulants) in a Smoke 911 store.
Our own Lance Dyer was interviewed about the undercover story yesterday. Dyer’s son, Dakota Dyer, was lost to synthetic marijuana on March 8, 2012. Since Dakota’s death, Dyer has made it his priority to rid our stores of synthetic drugs.
In the BCSAtlanta interview, Dyer doesn’t cut these greedy, drug dealing, killers any slack when he refers to them as “Merchants of Death” and “Narco Terrorists.” Is that a problem? We think that Dyer hit it right on the head.
The DEA, IRS, ICE, Treasury Department, FBI, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U. S. Customs and Border Protection, sheriff’s departments, local police departments, state troopers, all participated in the raids against retails, distributors and manufacturers of synthetic drugs.
While the bulk of the crackdown occurred on Wednesday, the operation continued into Thursday, leaving federal officials exhausted with some reporting to have gone days without sleep. Authorities have promised that this is just the beginning of many busts to come. They are still going over financial and business records, which they are expecting to produce many new leads to illegal activity.
In addition, over 100 IRS agents involved in the Operation. Their role was to “identify and document the movement of money during a crime, and the efforts employed to hide and conceal the profits. This documentation can provide “proof of criminal activity.”The sting netted nearly 100 arrests, in in 91 cities across the country, including Alpharetta, Atlanta, Chamblee, Kennesaw, Marietta, in Georgia.
Over 265 search warrants were executed in 90 cities across 30 US states. There were 29 manufacturing facilities among those searches.
Operation Log Jam netted enough synthetic marijuana to produce more than 19 million packages, some already in sealed packages ready for sale. They also seized 167,000 packages of synthetic stimulants (“bath salts”) and loose cathinones sufficient to produce an estimated 392,000 more packages of “bath salts.”
We think that should save some lives, drive them into the dark crevasses of society and jack the prices up a bit.
The sting also produced 36 million in cash and 6 million in assets, which is a figure expected to be just the tip of the iceberg. Authorities are still going over financial and personal records.
53 weapons were seized in the sting.
SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -After a nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs, CBS Atlanta went undercover to find stores in metro Atlanta still selling potentially dangerous chemicals sometimes sold as bath salts.They are banned in Georgia but some people try to find a way around the law.People use synthetic drugs because they have the same effects of cocaine or methamphetamines.Even though bath salts are illegal, chemists just go around the law and change the chemical make up.Clerks at the stores we visited said they’re not selling bath salts – they’re selling what’s called bath powder instead.
“Can I get one of those white magic massaging bath salts?” asked the CBS Atlanta News undercover customer.
“Bath salts are illegal,” replied the unidentified cashier. “Don’t even call them bath salts again or I’ll have to kick you out.”
Undercover video shows clerks at Smoke 911 stores in both Sandy Springs and Roswell selling tiny packages of powdery substance that employees call bath powders.
“I was just curious, do you guys have any bath salts?” asked the CBS Atlanta News undercover customer, this time at another Smoke 911 store.
“No, we just carry like bubbling stuff,” replied a different, unidentified cashier.
“Is that different?” asked the CBS Atlanta undercover customer.
“Yeah it’s different, but a lot of people get it confused with the bath salts,” replied the cashier.
“That looks like crack cocaine to me,” said Lance Dyer, who strongly opposes synthetic drugs. “This stuff right here is the bath salts – they’re calling it powder now. This is what your children; this is what adults are inhaling. This stuff is full of chemicals that with one use can cause death.”
Dyer has made the eradication of synthetic drugs his passion ever since his teenage son, Dakota, committed suicide after smoking fake pot last year.
“Smoke 911 not only knows it’s dangerous, puts themselves in a category of being a merchant of death and a narco-terrorist, that’s what I call them.”
So we took the tough questions right to Smoke 911.
“Are you sure you’re not selling bath salts, but they’re called bath powders?” asked CBS Atlanta News reporter Steve Kiggins.
“None of those, but like I said you can’t film in here,” said the unidentified cashier.
“We actually bought some of those today,” said Kiggins.
“I don’t think so, please leave,” replied the cashier.
Dyer said a small package costs manufacturers $2 or $3 but shops like Smoke 911 rake in a huge profit.
“They know what they’re selling is illegal, they know what they’re selling is poisonous,” said Dyer.
Dyer hopes the Georgia legislature will make improvements on the current law to ban all synthetic drugs instead of only the individual compounds that make up the substances.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.