DEA raids smoke shops across Valley for synthetic marijuana
Wed, 25 Jul 2012 17:19:43 GMT —
Authorities are raiding smoke shops across the Rio Grande Valley in search of synthetic marijuana containing a recently outlawed chemical mixture.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents filed more than a dozen search warrants with a federal judge in Brownsville on Monday.
Authorities spent Wednesday morning executing the search warrants looking for Spice, Kush, K2 and other brands of synthetic marijuana.
Federal court records show that DEA agents filed search warrants for the following locations:
Cloud 9 Smoke Shop, Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island Dark Secrets Smoke Shop, Central Boulevard Brownsville 420 Smoke Shop, International Boulevard, Brownsville Green Dragon Smoke Shop, International Boulevard, Brownsville Green Dragon Smoke Shop, Padre Island Highway, Brownsville Pokey's Planet, Boca Chica Boulevard, Brownsville Pokey's Planet, Alton Gloor Boulevard, Brownsville Pokey's Planet, West University Drive, Edinburg Pokey's Planet, Trenton Road, Edinburg Pokey's Planet, West Tyler Avenue, Harlingen Eight Eighty Smoke Shop, South F Street, Harlingen Pokey's Planet, Expressway 77/83, San Benito 420 Smoke Shop, Travis Street, San Benito Pokey's Planet, Expressway 83, Weslaco Free Spirits, North 10th Street, McAllen Peace Pipe, North Ware Road, McAllen Pow Wow, North 23rd Street, McAllen Puff N Stuff, North 10th Street, McAllen Smokies, West Nolana Avenue, McAllen High Rollers, North Inspiration Road, Mission Hippies, East Griffin Parkway, Mission Peace Pipe, North Conway Avenue, Mission Free Spirits, North Cage Boulevard, Pharr Magicos, South Jackson Road, Pharr Amsterdam, West Business 83, Weslaco
DEA agents were seen going inside the stores and removing merchandise.
Brownsville police reporting helping DEA agents raid 13 stores were 7,500 packaages of synthetic marijuana were seized.
Action 4 News spoke to Will Glaspy with the DEA in McAllen.
Glaspy said that a total of 33 smoke shops were raided across the Valley on Wednesday morning.
The DEA in McAllen called in agents from other area and used the assistance of local police departments and the Texas Department of Public safety.
Results of the raids were not immediately available but the DEA is expected to hold a process conference.
Media outlets in Florida, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and other states reported similiar raids to those in the Valley.
But Glaspy said he could not comment if the raids in the Valley were part of a larger national effort.
Synthetic marijuana is described as an organic substance sprayed with chemicals to simulate the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Manufacturers label the product that it's "not for human consumption" and are constantly changing the chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana.
Federal officials updated the list of prohibited chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana back on July 9th.
According to the search warrant application, the targeted stores sell synthetic marijuana as well as the pipes and other materials used to smoke it.
Undercover agents went to smoke shops across the Valley and spoke with employees about about which synthetic marijuana product was better.
The undercover agents bought the synthetic marijuana at different locations and had it sent to a lab where it test postive for the prohibited chemcials.