The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been conducting raids and crackdowns across the country in an effort to identify and arrest synthetic drug makers. They are also looking for the retailers and wholesalers of synthetic drug products, including synthetic marijuana. Those in Louisiana found in possession of synthetic marijuana or those engaged in selling the substance could face serious drug charges in federal court.
Federal agents have thus far served arrest warrants to hundreds of individuals located in 25 different states, including Louisiana. Targeted locations include smoke shops, warehouses and private residences. More than 150 arrests were made in the recent crackdown efforts, and approximately 200 warrants were served.
Thousands of synthetic drug packets and massive quantities of materials used in the manufacture of synthetic drugs have been seized. Agents also seized over $20 million cash and other assets. According to a coordinator for the Special Operations Division of the DEA, the federal agency is now beginning to zero in on Chinese manufacturers who are reportedly involved in the synthetic drug trade.
As can be seen, the federal government is taking synthetic drugs seriously in its recent crackdown efforts. Nevertheless, in the event that a Louisiana resident does find him- or herself facing synthetic drug charges in criminal court, he or she will never be punished or conviction until after — and only if — he or she is proved beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty of the crimes charged. If the person successfully employs a persuasive legal defense, proving guilt could prove to be a difficult task for prosecutors.
Source: The Boston Globe, “DEA raids in at least 25 states target synthetic drugs“, Alicia A. Caldwell, May 7, 2014