DEA Storms Synthetic-Pot Distribution Centers Across Florida
The war on synthetic drugs has gone federal, and in a big way.
Officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday stormed what they're describing as one of the country's largest distribution hubs of herbal incense, commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana.
The DEA isn't releasing any information until a news conference later today. But Ric Bradshaw of the PBSO told the Palm Beach Post that the warehouse was stocked with "literally tons" of product and "volatile chemicals."
The warehouse is located at 2350 N. Military Trail in the suburbs of West Palm Beach.
According to local NewsChannel5, the raid was related to the DEA's ongoing investigation of an explosion at another West Palm Beach warehouse in May. As our sister paper the Miami New Times recently reported, a company called KRATOM was manufacturing herbal incense when something went awry and resulted in a rattling blast.
At least four people were arrested in Wednesday's bust.
Meanwhile, the DEA and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office raided at least five additional warehouses in the Tampa area. The Tampa Tribune reported that the raids netted "thousands and thousands" of pounds of product. It also noted that acetone was among the chemicals seized.
It's unclear what brands of synthetic marijuana were being produced at the warehouses.
Also unclear is what laws they were violating. Certain chemical compounds have been banned, while others have not.
County and cities across the state are moving quickly to enact bans, but the products are still sold openly throughout much of Florida.
We'll provide an update when the DEA releases more information.