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Local Officials pleased with DEA's Synthetic Drug Raid

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the results of Wednesday's nationwide synthetic drug bust Thursday. The raid covered 90 cities, and over 300 businesses nationwide including ones in Central New York.

The raid called "Operation Log Jam" led to 91 arrests, and almost 5 million packets of synthetic drugs seized.

While synthetic drugs like "Bath Salts" do have disclaimers on them "Not For Human Consumption," it's not stopping users from snorting and swallowing the drugs which lead to psychosis, agitation and bizarre behaviors.

"In just one year calls to poison centers about synthetic cannabinoids have more than doubled and calls for synthetic cathinones marketed as bath salts have increased more than 20 fold," said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

The DEA explained the raid has moved the federal government beyond just legislation, pleasing local officials and law enforcement, who are unable to prosecute the synthetic drug users and suppliers.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara says one of the things the county has been looking into is the issue of supply, finding that Oneida, Madison and Onandoga counties all had a common store, Tebb's Head Shop. The business which has locations in Utica, Herkimer, Oneida, Syracuse, and Fulton was one of the more than 300 shops raided nationwide, bringing according to McNamara what looks like a major attack on local supply.

"My information is they seized over 120,000 packages of synthetic drugs just from him alone," said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara.

McNamara is hopeful the raid will dramatically reduce the local supply of the drugs and that a new law will soon allow the county to prosecute.

"The best thing that we have right now on the horizon is that the County Executive proposed a law just yesterday that I have on my desk right now that seems to be the most promising law that we've seen locally," said McNamara.

In total, "Operation Log Jam" led to 91 arrests, and almost 5 million packets of synthetic drugs seized.

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