Feds: Millions Seized, Scores Arrested In 'Head Shop' Raids
Wednesday's raid on Tebb's Head Shop in Watertown was part of Operation Log Jam, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) crackdown on synthetic drugs.
These drugs go by names like "bath salts", "glass cleaner" and "spice".
Across the United States, 90 people were arrested, more than five million packets of designer synthetic drugs were confiscated and $36 million in cash were seized.
"We're sending a clear message to those who profit from the sale of these dangerous substances," said DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart.
"You are nothing more than a drug trafficker and we will bring you to justice," Leonhart said.
Synthetic drugs have been increasing in popularity.
Bath salts, for example, cause hallucinations that have caused users to become violent. Watertown police report dealing with several cases involving bath salts each week.
Bath salts can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.
Experts who have studied the drugs estimate that there are more than 100 different bath-salt chemicals circulating.
Because of problems like this across the nation, earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed a law making a wide range of synthetic drugs illegal.
And the federal government isn't just going after retailers.
"If you are involved in the manufacture, importation, distribution or sale of these illicit chemicals, we will come after you," said James Chaparro, acting director of Homeland Security.
An employee of Tebb's in Watertown told 7 News Thursday that his store did not sell bath salts, but did sell glass cleaner up until Wednesday's raid.
Police say there is essentially no difference between the two.
Tebb's reopened for business Thursday.
Monday, March 10, 2014, Watertown, NY
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