Alaska Medical Examiner Refusing to Test Product Most Likely Responsible for a Wasilla Death

By Karen Dobner

In the first case of it’s kind, Alaska Coroner has refused to test the Spice product that most likely killed a young man to determine the chemical responsible for his death.  Not too surprisingly, toxicology screenings were unable to identify the chemical in his body fluids.

It is much easier for authorities to identify the chemical in the synthetic drug products than it is for them to identify the chemical (metabolites from chemicals) in toxicology screenings.  The best tests available can only determine the use of 22 of several hundred research chemicals used to manufacture Spice products.

That is assuming that the drug dealers, in this case, used synthetic cannabinoids.  Increasingly, the use of a ‘cocktail’ of research chemicals, including synthetic cathinones and other stimulants, in addition to synthetic cannabinoids, are used to lace Spice products.

Kelli Farquer is a mother on a mission.  After losing her son, Kurtis Hildreth, to Spice, Kelli has been educating herself about the research chemicals that were most likely responsible for her son’s death and an industry which has been traumatizing Americans for several years now.

Every once in awhile there comes another parent who has experienced the loss of a child from a Kurtis Hildrethsynthetic drug and is determined to make sure her/his child does not die in vain.  It was clear from the moment Kelli contacted me that she not going down without a fight.

The Spice product that was found at her son’s fingertips when he died has not been tested to determine the chemical that is most likely responsible for his death.  Alaska medical examiner has refused to test the product for evidence that it was laced with research chemicals because they claim that there is no criminal intent.

A young man has died after smoking a product that we all know is intended for human consumption.  The “Not for Human Consumption” stamp on the back of Spice products has been proven to be an industry ploy to bypass laws designed to protect our citizens.

Farquer is calling for the medical examiner to have the Spice product tested to determine the research chemical responsible for her son’s death.

Sean Doogan, from the Alaska Dispatch did a better job than I could dream of doing.  So, I’ll him tell you the story.   However, stay tuned the the blog for follow-ups.

 

In the wake of a teen’s unexplained death,

answers about Spice are hard to come by

Sean Doogan/January 10, 2014

 Kurtis Hildreth, 18, came to Alaska after graduating high school. He was living with his aunt’s family in Wasilla to get a head start on the next phase of his life. But Hildreth’s life didn’t get a new beginning in the Last Frontier — it ended abruptly, the young man found dead inside his room, a pipe filled with the synthetic drug known as Spice and a lighter, on the floor next to him. His family believes the drug killed him. But the state medical examiner and Alaska State troopers aren’t sure.

Kurtis Hildreth with fishHildreth moved from Florida to spend time with his aunt, Kerri Stevens, and her family at their Wasilla home. Stevens said she wanted to show Hildreth around Alaska and offer him a job in her family’s commercial glass shop. Stevens said she has always been close to Hildreth, her sister Kelli Farquer’s oldest child, and was even there when he was born. She was also there when he died on Nov. 16, 2013, opening Hildreth’s bedroom door to find her nephew’s body crumpled against the wall. Hildreth’s arms were still propped on the windowsill.

“Whatever hit him, (it) hit him hard and hit him fast,” Stevens said as she recounted her nephew’s death. “The pipe was right there by his feet. He was a healthy kid. The lighter was right there. The pipe was right there. He never had any kind of heart problems or seizures.” (See the entire interview of Stevens)

Inside the pipe was some partially burned synthetic marijuana, commonly known as “Spice.” The drug is gaining popularity as a legal marijuana alternative. It is, in reality, an unknown combination of chemicals usually made in China and shipped to the U.S., where it is sprayed on plant material and packaged as incense or potpourri. Most of the packages have labels that say “not for human consumption” on them. And at $20 for two grams, it is extremely expensive — for incense. But everyone knows what the mixture is really used for: to get high.

Stevens and Farquer are certain Spice killed the otherwise healthy Hildreth. But the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office has listed his death as “undetermined.”

Officially, no one has died as a result of smoking Spice in Alaska. As in many suspected cases, an autopsy of Hildreth’s body did not turn up any medical conditions or problems. A toxicity screening of his blood, bile and other body fluids did not turn up any signs of illegal drugs or alcohol. Hildreth’s death — like an average of 28 others each year in Alaska — will likely go unsolved, medically speaking. But not if Hildreth’s family — and an Illinois mother who started an Internet crusade after the Spice-related death of her own son — has anything to do with it.

The number of people killed by synthetic drugs each year is relatively unknown because most Spice-related deaths are listed as undetermined or as a result of something else. In September, Colorado officials began looking into three deaths that may have been caused by the drug. Internet sites like To the Maximus are rife with stories of both suspected and officially designated Spice-related deaths.

To the Maximus is a nonprofit anti-synthetic drug foundation started by Illinois mother Karen Dobner. Her son Max was killed in June 2011 after he smoked synthetic marijuana then ran his car into a house at more than 100 mph. Dobner had reportedly called his brother to say that he had smoked “that legal stuff” and was “freaking out.” But, as with Hildreth, Dobner’s death was not officially attributed to Spice.

“Currently only 22 of several hundred synthetic cannabinoids can be identified in blood fluids. They are actually looking for metabolites in blood, and it is a difficult and slow process to identify these chemicals,” Karen Dobner said.

Hildreth’s blood was tested for 300 known illegal drugs, including outlawed combinations of Spice. But when it comes to designer drugs, police and prosecutors are far behind the dealers. The chemists change their formulas often, trying to dodge laws aimed at their product. Such is the case in Alaska, where packages of synthetic drugs — easily found on the shelves of dozens of Anchorage and Wasilla area stores — have not tested positive for banned substances in months.

“It’s not a marijuana alternative, and these newer chemicals have never been seen on earth before — the kids are the lab rats,” Dobner said.

In Hildreth’s case, the drugs themselves were not tested to determine their composition. The state medical examiner has refused to discuss Hildreth’s case, citing the privacy of the family. The Alaska State Troopers have finished their report into Hildreth’s death, but it has not yet been released to his family.

 

Simply put, testing for the exact chemical composition in synthetic drugs can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible. NMS labs, in Willow Grove, Pa., does the body fluids drug and chemical testing for the state of Alaska. And while synthetic drugs are difficult to find in blood because the body metabolizes them, they can be identified in the drug itself. It is this test Dobner and Hildreth’s family want the state to carry out. Farquer said the troopers told her they could not submit the drugs to the lab because there appeared to be no criminal intent in Hildreth’s death. Farquer said she is hiring a private attorney to get the drugs to the lab for testing.

“I know Spice killed my son,” Farquer said.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Anchorage is looking to rid itself of the drug. The Anchorage Assembly is set to consider a new law that will outlaw possession and sale of Spice, not based on the chemical makeup of the drug, but because of what officials say is deceptive marketing.

The drug can be bought in Alaska at local smoke and head shops. It’s usually packaged with a cartoonish character and a devious-sounding name. Popular varieties include “Dead Man” and “Mr. Nice Guy.” It is the latter — inside a package adorned with a smiley face that has been shot through the head — that Hildreth was smoking when he died.

“They market this crap to 12-year-olds. It has Scooby-Doo on the front of it, smiley faces, SpongeBob — I mean, that’s who its being marketed to. It’s horrible,” Stevens said.

Hildreth’s best friend, Brandon Jenkins, said the 18-year-old called him the night before he died. Jenkins said Hildreth told him he was smoking Spice. Jenkins advised his friend to stop. Now that Hildreth is dead, Jenkins is warning other teens to stay away from Spice.”

“It isn’t worth it,” Jenkins said. “Life will lead you in better directions than this stuff will. Life has many opportunities, and death only has one.”

 

 

International Criminal Mastermind of Silk Road Taken Down by FBI

Ross William Ulbricht, the 29-year-old entrepreneur, mastermind behind the anonymous black Ross Ulbrichtmarket drug website known as Silk Road, the Amazon of the drug market, has been known to describe his narcotics bazaar as a victimless libertarian experiment.

In two years, the website is said to have accumulated sales of 1.2 billion dollars.  Ulbreicht is accused of not only selling drugs, but also money laundering, conspiracy, paying for a hitman to murder 2 people.

The website served as a middleman for cocaine, heroin, LSD, cannabis, synthetic drugs and more to almost a million registered users through a web of servers designed to hide the location and identity of Ulbreicht.

Ulbricht is also charged with selling counterfeit currency, fake passports, and drivers licenses, and stolen credit card information.

Hit men, drugs and the fall of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road ‘mastermind’

How did Ross Ulbricht, a high-achieving student from Texas, turn into the alleged kingpin known as the Dread Pirate Roberts of the black market Silk Road website?

By , Los Angeles

6:14PM BST 04 Oct 2013

It was an unlikely setting for the arrest of an alleged international criminal mastermind.

But after months of tracking their man through cyberspace the FBI eventually found him sitting in the science fiction section of a small public library above a grocery store in San Francisco.

As undercover agents surrounded the suspected kingpin Ross Ulbricht, 29, he was using Glen Park library’s free publicly funded wireless internet, apparently to run a massive billion dollar drug dealing racket from his laptop.

“He was wearing jeans and a red burgundy T-shirt, he just looked like an every day San Franciscan,” library spokesman Michelle Jeffers told The Daily Telegraph. “Six or eight FBI agents came in separately, dressed like anyone else, and then there was a crash. The librarians didn’t know what was going on. They rushed over because they thought one of the patrons might have fallen over.

“Then they saw this man pushed against the window face first and someone said ‘We’re the FBI’.

According to agents, Ulbricht, who was expected in a San Francisco court on Friday, had been Continue reading

United Nations Report: New Psychoactive Substances “Threaten the Health and Welfare of Mankind”

doomsday_clock

Doomsday Clock

By Karen Dobner (updated 9/17/13)

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) “threaten the health and Welfare of Mankind.”

“The threat of synthetic drugs is one of the most significant drug problems worldwide,” according to the Global SMART update, Volume 10, September 2013 issue.

Global SMART update is a bi-annual publication of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which is designed to provide regular brief reporting on emerging patterns and trends of the global synthetic drug situation which “threatens the health and welfare of mankind.”

The UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov noted the urgency of responding to this trend: “The adverse effects of NPS are poorly understood and present a global health risk. Concerted action is urgently needed by the international community to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of these drugs. “

Over the past 12 months, the number of NPS reported to the UNODC rose by 41 per cent, from 251 to 354, while countries reporting detection of these substances climbed from 70 to 90.

The UNODC Global Synthetics Monitoring, Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programm enhances the capacity of Member States in priority regions to generate, manage, analyze, report and use synthetic drug information to design effective policy and program interventions and monitor the availability of precursor chemicals required to manufacture illicit synthetic drugs.

United Nations

United Nations

The Global Smart Update reports various synthetic drug information, such as significant or unusual drug or precursor seizures, new locations, methods and chemicals used for clandestine manufacture, new trafficking groups or routes, changes in legislation to address the problem of synthetic drugs, emerging substances or user groups, and health implications related to their use.

The most current issue, volume 10, includes a special segment providing a brief overview of the mechanisms provided under the international drug control conventions to place NPS under international control, in addition to an overview of some legislative/regulatory approaches that have been taken so far to regulate NPS at the regional and national levels.

Individual Nations

The Global SMART update also addresses national legislative and law enforcement efforts in several major regions.

Project Synergy:  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other U.S. law enforcement agencies have announced the results of the largest-ever operation targeting synthetic drugs. The operation resulted in the seizure of 9,945 kg of synthetic drugs, including 299 kg of synthetic cathinones, 1,252 kg of synthetic cannabinoids and 783 kg of plant-based substances. The operation started in December 2012 and was conducted in 35 states, 49 cities and 5 countries (Australia, Barbados, Canada, Panama and the United States). Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers were targeted and as a result, more than 227 arrests were made and over $51 million (USD) were seized.

Legislative and regulatory responses to control NPS by reporting nations are outlined in the report, including individual listing systems, analogue and generic legislation, temporary bans and rapid procedures.  

 Although Individual countries or specific regions in the world have advanced efforts to regulate the unauthorized supply and distribution of NPS, either as individual or groups of substances, a comprehensive international response is needed to counter this phenomenon that threatens the health and welfare of mankind, whose protection serve as the basis of the international drug control.  

There is currently no international legal response to counteract this phenomenon.

Internationally

In the first of it’s kind, the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS enables countries to share data quickly when these substances enter the international market. This initiative to monitor NPS at the global level was created to inform the 55 member countries of new psychoactive substances at the international level.     

Also, following the G8 Roma-Lyon expert group in London in April 2013, the representatives united-nations-logoof Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, endorsed a statement of intent on collection and sharing of data on NPS, in which they commit themselves to develop comprehensive, coordinated and integrated approaches to the detection, analysis and identification of NPS. Information on prevalence and health risks associated with NPS, and on pharmacological data and related research on NPS, will be collected and shared.

Traditionally, the control of substances that threaten public health in most drug control federal and international systems includes 1) notification to submit a new substance for consideration, 2) an expert assessment of health risks and dependence potential, and 3) drug control measures.

 The UNODC Early Warning Advisory is a great start. However, the global threat that NPS present calls for a rapid legal response on an international level and/or a complete overhaul of the current procedures of drug control.

To the Maximus Foundation (TTM) is calling for a shift in the paradigm of the structure of drug control procedures.  NPS are offering new and unique challenges to our systems of drug control.  ‘Business as usual’ will never work within the realm of these new challenges as those in the illicit drug trade will always be one step ahead of us.

TTM submits that it is inevitable that we will be forced to change the burden of proof of health risks and dependency (or lack there of) from the government to the manufacturer and marketer by addressing the mislabeling issues that arise within the synthetic drug industry, and defining “synthetic drug product” as one that contains a control substance which is not regulated by the member nations or the 1971 Convention of Psychotropic Substances.  We then must amend the control substance regulations to include general classes of chemicals that are currently not being used for any legitimate purpose other than research, which will require licensing.

In the ‘legal’ pharmaceutical drug market, all member nations have legislation and regulations which put the burden of proof of risk assessment on the manufacturer and marketer and labeling laws are strictly enforced.  Why would we allow anyone the ability to sell drugs/chemicals on the open market without regulation of those chemicals?  In Illinois, HB 5233 makes it illegal to market chemicals/drugs which are defined as controlled substances and not unregulated by the FDA.  TTM is calling for similar federal legislation.

In the interim, before effective measures are put in place, most member nations already have federal regulations in place to effectively address the issue of unregulated, mislabeled, and deceptive products, as well as legislation that deals specifically with toxic, hazardous, and poisonous synthetic research chemicals (Farmer, Cindy, 2013)

It is inevitable that we will eventually be forced to shift our paradigm for drug control toward a system where the manufacture and marketing of nearly all new research chemicals will not be an inherent right of our citizens.  Until then, the “health and welfare of mankind will be threatened.

To those of us that have lost children or are suffering through the devastation of mental and physical injuries to our loved ones due to NPS, the response on both the national and global level has been painfully slow.

The “health and welfare of mankind” is dependent on our leaders to act expeditiously and aggressively in applying the measures of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.  It is their responsibility.  Many lives are depending on them.

Global SMART Update Volume 10, September 2013

 

 

 

 

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on Dangerous Synthetic Drugs

Watch the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control video on YouTube

Press Release:

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 12.00.21 AM

CNN Reports on Synthetic Drugs with Robin Smith

Stay tuned for more of Robin Smith’s extraordinary story here on the To the Maximus Foundation Blog within the next few weeks.

Federal Judge upholds Duluth Rule on City License for Synthetic Drugs

carlson0218_500pxA federal magistrate judge in Duluth, Minnesota upheld a local ordinance requiring Jim Carlson, owner of Last Place on Earth, and other retailers to carry a city license for selling synthetic drugs, which includes many rigorous regulations.  The ordinance went into effect on Thursday, July 11.

Carlson filed suit on Friday, arguing the law is unconstitutional because it would force him to incriminate himself, arguing that the city license will violate his fifth amendment rights.

It seems that Carlson has flipped his self-serving position on this issue.  In the video below, he says that “this product should be regulated” and labeled with “what chemicals they are using and what is the strength.”

City attorneys argued that the license doesn’t require them to incriminate themselves, but merely apply for a license and the ordinance only regulates legal synthetic drugs.

“There’s no constitutional right to continue to do illegal activity,” said City Attorney Gunnar Johnson. “And if that is what’s going on here, there’s no constitutional right to that.”

4SYNTHHEAD

Carlson has been one of the biggest offenders of retail synthetic drug sales and kept himself out of jail for years.

However, it looks like the law has caught up with the endlessly cocky Carlson.  In June, he was even so kind as to offer to stop selling drugs if the charges were dropped.  Of course, he wants his money back.  The feds have seized millions of Carlson’s hard earned money.

“Besides not selling the product we’ve agreed to quit fighting it,” Carlson said. “I’m the one that’s allowed people to keep selling it because of fighting all these different ordinances and laws and a lot of people go by what I’m doing. If I’m selling, they’re selling. If I’m not, they probably wouldn’t.”

Carlson is currently under federal indictment and waiting for trial.

In December of 2012, Carlson, his girlfriend Lava Marie Haugen, 32, both 

Carlson's son Joseph James Gellermanof Superior, his son, Joseph James Gellerman, 34, and former store employee, Jamie Paul Anderson, 24, have pleaded not guilty in response to an indictment on 54 counts of violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act.The indictment states that between March 2011 and September 2012, Carlson, Haugen, Gellerman and Anderson conspired to obtain and sell through the Last Place on Earth items misbranded as incense, potpourri, bath salts, exotic skin treatments, glass cleaner and watch cleaner. The products were not identified as drugs, though they were intended to be consumed by humans to affect the functioning of the body, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota.

The indictment states that between March 2011 and September 2012, Carlson, Haugen, Gellerman and Anderson conspired to obtain and sell through the Last Place on Earth items misbranded as incense, potpourri, bath salts, exotic skin treatments, glass cleaner and watch cleaner. The products were not identified as drugs, though they were intended to be consumed by humans to affect the functioning of the body, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota.

The government said in the indictment that if it gains convictions, it will attempt to seize $1,343,352, $1,201,522, $387,488 and $64,950 — almost $3 million in total — from four bank accounts.

After The Last Place on Earth was raided on July 25, 2012,  The Food and Drug Administration along with the United States Attorney’s Office asked the public to come forward to explain negative reactions caused by synthetic drugs sold at the store.

Click here to report negative side effects to the FDA if you’re experiencing these effects as a result of drug purchased from Last Place on Earth.

Earlier this year, Carlson offered free “Last Place on Earth” tattoos to willing participants as a promotional gimmick.

Synthetic Drugs Seller

Also in the news, a Duluth woman was recently cited for 5th Degree Assault in an incident that left the owner of the Last Place on Earth head shop injured.

34-year-old Candice Drift was cited shortly after the incident on Wednesday night.

Owner Jim Carlson now has stitches in his chin and says he has a broken shoulder bone.

The incident was caught on Carlson’s surveillance video. Carlson says Drift is one of the 10-20 people that he doesn’t allow in Last Place on Earth because of past behavior problems.

“To be honest with you, with his clientele, the people that go in and out of there and the erratic behavior that we’ve seen.   I’m surprised that things like that don’t happen more often to him,” Ramsay said. “It sure happens to enough other innocent people, victims of synthetic users.”

The woman accused of assaulting him wrote a letter to the editor published in the News Tribune in April commending him. In that letter, the woman wrote: “Much love and respect to Carlson. Stand proud, and stay strong, my friend. Your heart is filled with gold.”

“She’s a wonderful person when she’s not drinking, but you get too much alcohol and some pills and some of these people, they go nuts,” Carlson said.

We wonder how Jim feels to be on the receiving end of “nuts,” for a change.  Local families and loved ones have been reporting that their loved ones have become violent and experienced horrible side effects as a result of the drugs that Carlson has been selling.

Nearby merchants have complained that Last Place customers who hang out in front of the store interfere with their business and the city says the business is a public nuisance.  Reports of “crazy” behavior has plagued downtown Duluth since Last Place on Earth started selling synthetic drugs.

Additionally, the city of Deluth, Minnesota, filed a civil ‘Notice of Nuisance’ injunction in an attempt to thwart Carlson’s ability to sell synthetic drugs.  City Attorneys argued the court should take action, citing 2,000 police calls to Last Place in 2012, a cost of 100,000 dollars to the taxpayer.  This doesn’t include the medical and mental health costs associated with synthetic drug use, which are usually absorbed by the public.

The city will be using an Aug. 28 surveillance tape outside the store as a piece of evidence in the case.

The tape shows customers heading out and pushing a man into the road.  They then head back and pull him toward the curb before leaving the scene.  The city said the video shows exactly what happens near the business and the city resources that have to respond.

But, Carlson isn’t just responding to legal motions.

Carlson filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Duluth in response for what he called an unlawful raid.

On December 12, Judge Floerke dismissed the lawsuit.

The judge ruled the city did not violate Carlson’s civil rights when it raided his downtown head shop and seized $83,510 in cash, about $250,000 worth of products,  largely synthetic marijuana, and 28 guns.

The judge also denied Carlson’s request to force the return of his cash, retail products and guns.

We couldn’t be happier.

Carlson filed a similar suit against the federal government for their July 2012 raid.

Meanwhile, a newly formed MN House of Representatives select committee held its first hearing in St. Paul on Tuesday.  The committee will study the synthetic drug problem and present possible solutions during the 2014 legislative session.

To the Maximus Foundation  has made legislative recommendations to state legislators.

 

 

Popular Synthetics: The Class of 2013

Bath salts.

We’ve definitely been guilty of neglecting the category of synthetic drugs/designer drugs that are not synthetic cannabinoids.   Therefore, we’re very happy to share this article by neuroscientist, Dirk Hanson, who has been a leader in educating us about ‘research chemicals.’

Hanson does a fine job of giving us a short definition of the different categories of ‘research chemicals.’

A huge thank you to Dirk Hanson for all of his contributions that have given us a better understanding of drugs and addiction!  You can find links to his blog below.

Without further ado….

By: Dirk Hanson
Posted: 06 Jul 2013 02:54 PM PDT

Navigating the new alphabet of intoxication

You don’t have to be a molecular chemist to know which of today’s recreational drugs are safe. Wait, I take that back. You DO have to be a molecular chemist to navigate today’s synthetic drug market with anything like a modest degree of safety.

It’s hard not to get nostalgic: Back in the day, you had your pot, you had your acid, your coke, your speed, and your heroin. And that, with the exception of a few freak outriders like PCP, was about that. Baby boomers of today, already losing touch with leading-edge music—Macklemore? Tame Impala?—can now consider themselves officially out of touch when it comes to illegal drugs.

That is, unless they are familiar with psychoactive chemicals beyond mere methamphetamine “bath salt” knockoffs like mephedrone, and cannabis “Spice” look-alikes such as JWH-018. We’re talking about drugs like Bromo-DragonFly, Benzo Fury, and 2C-B.  As Vanessa Grigoriadis writes in New York Magazine: “These drug users imagine themselves as amateur chemists, proto-Walter Whites, sampling and resynthesizing drugs to achieve exactly the state of Continue reading

Stories from the Busts! $51,000,000 . . . and Counting

On June 26, 2013 Federal Agents conducted “Project Synergy,” swooping in to arrest those involved in the retail sales, manufacturing, and distribution of synthetic drugs across the nation and even in foreign countries.

Not only did they seize drugs, they also seized records that tied those involved in the synthetic drug trade to the funneling of funds to the middle east.

This is a wrap-up of some of the stories from those busts.  Please check back, we will be updating this page regularly.

DEA Press Conference

tothemaximusblog

 

Ohio

Deputies Arrest 20 In Franklin County During Project Synergy

Posted: Jun 27, 2013 1:39 PM EDTUpdated: Jun 27, 2013 1:46 PM EDT

By: Alex Mazer, Multimedia Content Producer – email

Investigators seized several thousand packages of the illegal drugs, several guns and more than $40,000 in cash while executing five search warrants.

OhioCOLUMBUS, Ohio -The Franklin County Drug Task Force and the Ohio Investigative Unit coordinated together to conduct Project Synergy, a DEA nationwide synthetic narcotics enforcement project.During the project, a total of five search warrants were conducted at various local convenience stores and residences, targeting the sale of synthetic drugs known as Bath Salts and Spice in Franklin County. As a result of the search warrants, investigators seized several thousand packages of the illegal drugs, Continue reading