Operation Targets Brevard Bath Salt Manufacturers
By Space Coast Daily // July 27, 2012
155 Pounds Of Bath Salts Seized
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – On Wednesday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Melbourne Police Department participated with the Drug Enforcement Administration in a nationwide operation targeting the manufacture and distribution of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”
Locally, six search warrants were executed at various locations, to include warehouses, residences and retail stores, where the suspected items were being sold and manufactured.
As a result of the local searches, 22,577 (91.1 Lbs.) individual packages of synthetic marijuana and 8,363 (155.1 Lbs.) individual packages of “bath salts” were seized, according to Major Vic DeSantis of the Brevard County Sheriffs Department
In addition, more than 10,200 pounds of plant material was seized that was being prepared for chemical treatment. The plant material, when combined with certain listed chemicals, is packaged and sold as synthetic marijuana.
“This operation effectively removed thousands of pounds of this new poison from our streets,” said Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker. “It is important to increase the public’s awareness of the dangers associated with this garbage, which is specifically targeting our kids. I applaud the partnership with the DEA and US Attorney’s Office to assist in the investigative efforts and prosecution. Today is a strong first step in targeting the manufacturers, educating our parents and putting an end to this drug use.”
At the time of the search, eight foreign nationals who maintain were illegally in the United States were arrested. The individuals were being employed to prepare and process the materials seized.
Major DeSantis said the Department of Homeland Security responded to the crime scenes and took custody of the individuals.
Nationwide statistics are still being calculated; however, currently the ongoing operation has resulted in 78 arrests, 353 searches, 30 manufacturing facilities, 4,857,509 individual packets of synthetic cannabinoids, 12,098 pounds of treated cannabinoids, 48,253 pounds of untreated plant material, 167,187 individual packets of synthetic cathinone (Bath Salts), 432 pounds of cathinone and 47 firearms.
“This operation is just another example of the outstanding accomplishments that are possible with partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement, said DEA ASAC Jeff Walsh. “DEA is very proud of the relationship we share with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in our continued efforts to address the illicit drugs that are plaguing our communities. Sheriff Parker has an incredible team working to make your streets safe.”
There were no charges as related to the seizures at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division at 321-633-1216 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential, and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest.