Federal agents target synthetic drugs, sellers across US

By KBJR News 1

May 7, 2014 Updated May 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM CDT

Washington, D.C. (NNCNOW.com) - Federal agents moved in on suspected drug dealers in at least 25 states Wednesday in an operation known as "Project Synergy" serving warrants and seizing narcotics and weapons.

The raids in many states, including Wisconsin, targeted synthetic drugs, including "bath salts," the club drug "Molly" and synthetic "cannabinoids" such as "K2"

Warrants were served at homes, mini marts, warehouses and smoke shops and targeted manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

The largest single-state effort is in Alabama.

In Camden, New Jersey, the U.S. Attorney announced the arrest of members of a family of dealers who had taken over neighborhoods to market cocaine and heroin.

"These synthetic cannabinoids actually have the opposite effect of marijuana. They largely appeal to and prey on kids and college people to act aggressively. People lose their minds on this stuff, and it really is a poison," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Florida.

"You don't always have to be moving big, huge quantities and bundles of cocaine or suitcases full of dirty money for us to notice you. Sometimes, all it takes is to be the source of a river of poison that runs through a few city blocks. Just enough crack and heroin to ruin a neighborhood. That gets our attention," said Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

The sweep involved 33 DEA cases and seven immigrations and customs enforcement investigations.

NBC News / KBJR News Staff