DEA: Multi-million dollar synthetic marijuana lab raided in San Antonio

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 26 at 8:18 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- It goes by names like K2, Shaggy’s Mix and Klimax, and it's marketed in bright colors with cheap prices.

“For a teenager that doesn’t have a lot of money, it’s an easy score,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

But this is not incense or potpourri. Law enforcement said this is a potentially deadly designer drug. Early Wednesday morning, simultaneous raids were carried out across the city, across the state and in other parts of the country.

In a year-long operation, local and federal officials combined forces to weed out the synthetic weed, find its players and eventually its manufacturers.

Among the dozens of businesses targeted, agents said they uncovered a lab in northeast San Antonio with several workers making the stuff.

DEA spokesperson Nancy Sanford said the lab had been under surveillance.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, wire taps uncovered the business’ details -- including a planned trip to China to recruit chemists that could design more synthetic-marijuana formulas.

IRS officials helped follow the illicit money trail that led to the illegal lab in San Antonio.
 
“We’re comfortable saying that is a multi-million dollar a month industry here locally,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge True Brown.
 
A total of 19 arrest warrants were issued; 12 people are already behind bars in San Antonio.
 
Agents said there are still more arrests planned.

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