Head Shop Raids Called 'Operation Log Jam'
The head shop raids carried out across the country - including Watertown - Wednesday were called 'Operation Log Jam' by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In a statement Wednesday night, the DEA characterized the raids as "the first-ever nationwide law-enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as incense, bath salts or plant food."
The DEA said it would release more information Thursday.
Our main report from Wednesday...
Police raided so-called 'head shops' in several states Wednesday, including raids in Watertown and Central New York.
State and local police descended on 'Tebb's' headshop in the former Northland Plaza at 11:30 this morning.
While a blinking sign in the window continued to say 'open' - and customers continued to try to enter the shop - they were turned away by police. One of the police officers on scene flipped a smaller sign from 'open' to 'closed.'
Police were on scene for about two hours, and were seen carting away what appeared to be items of evidence from the store. One employee of the store, Trevor Harding, was also seen exiting the store with police, but he was not in handcuffs.
Asked for comment, an official on scene gave a 7 News reporter a phone number to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration office in Syracuse.
At least four locations in Onondaga County were also raided, along with a raid in the City of Oneida. WSYR - TV reports raids were also carried out in Utica and Rochester.
Raids took place in several states, including Pennslyvania, Ohio, Minnesota and Florida.
Targeted are stores selling the synthetic marijuana-like products 'bath salts' and 'glass cleaner.' Earlier this month President Obama signed a federal law making a wide range of synthetic drugs illegal.
Counting Watertown, at least four 'Tebbs' stores were raided. A second chain of shops, '420 Emporium,' was also targeted by police. (More coverage from WSYR TV can be read, viewed here.)
One person was led away in handcuffs in Oneida, but officials said that arrest was not connected to Wednesday's raid.
By coincidence, the raid in Watertown came on the day a father whose son was using bath salts appeared in city court to answer charges he used a baseball bat Tuesday to damage the Watertown Tebbs store. (Read our story here.)
Last month, 7 News was able to purchase 'glass cleaner' at Tebb's.
Friday, September 19, 2014, Watertown, NY
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