Federal agents raid warehouses for synthetic drugs - FOX 13 News

Federal agents raid warehouses for synthetic drugs

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Federal agents raided several warehouses in the Bay Area Wednesday, looking to bust distributors of synthetic drugs.

They targeted several locations. Among them were:

  • 6308 Benjamin Road in Tampa,
  • 5404 West Waters Avenue in Tampa
  • 4401 East 10th Avenue in Tampa
  • 4101 East 12th Avenue in Tampa

Dressed in white protective outfits, law enforcement officials hauled away 60-pound sacks of herbal incense that is otherwise known as K2 or synthetic marijuana.

"We saw the DEA outside people in suits...and they started pulling stuff out of the trailer and we were like, ‘oh my God' is that drugs?" said Natalie Powell, who works nearby.

The raid, at a warehouse on 12th Avenue in Tampa, was one of at least five in Hillsborough County, carried out on believed spice manufacturers. The raids were conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

It is part of a nationwide effort to crack down on the distribution and sale of these products.  Each of the bags are valued at $150 to $170,000 thousand, officials say

"We believe a lot of this stuff is being distributed throughout the United States," said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

In stores, this product is sold with name like "Mr. Nice Guy" and "California Dreamin." The bags say it's not for human consumption, but officials say kids use it get high. 

"It's very dangerous stuff, we know that," Sheriff Gee said

But that's only half the story: attorney Tim Dandar represents a number of clients in the aroma products industry.

"Today is truly a shameful day in this nation's history as agencies have swept across this country raiding and harassing legitimate business men, women and their families," he said.

He says claims that aroma products are unsafe simply aren't true. 

"They're legitimate businesses manufacturing and marketing legal and safe products, and I would not represent an industry that was engaging in unlawful activity," Dandar said.

No arrests were made in Hillsborough County Wednesday, only product seizures. 

Authorities plan a press conference to release more information Thursday.

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