Photos: Spice raids address health crisis caused by "synthetic marijuana," spokesman says
Last month's Spice bust in Loveland, in which a business owner and two employees were arrested for peddling a substance colloquially known as synthetic marijuana (even though it has little in common with cannabis), got plenty of attention. But the operation pales in comparison to a nationwide series of raids and arrests conducted by assorted federal, state and local agencies as coordinated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado.
Some of the items displayed at the indictment-announcement press conference, from Fox31 coverage.
Continue for details, including documents from the feds and the Colorado Attorney General, photos from the DEA and comments from a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman who makes frequent mention of the "health crisis" created by the use of products prominently stamped with the phrase "Not for human consumption."
The federal indictment focuses in part on Daniel Bernier, whose business was alternately known as The Really Cool Stuff Company and Heart of Asia. He's said to have overseen the importation of Spice to Florida, where it was sprayed with a green vegetable substance, presumably intended to make the assorted chemicals look more like cannabis. In addition, wholesaler Donald Creager III allegedly oversaw shipment of the products to assorted retail outlets in Colorado.
Courtesy of the DEA
Not that Florida and Colorado were the only two states targeted. The eight-month investigation also reached into Georgia, Alaska, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Nevada, and there were plenty of raids and busts to go around.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado, provides some background.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office has been focused on Spice for some time," he says. "We had a prosecution of a distributor of spice a little over a year ago, and as that prosecution was concluding, the public health crisis over Spice began -- and as the U.S. Attorney saw the severity of the crisis, he assigned one of his prosecutors to assemble a team to address it."
Courtesy of the DEA
The prosecutor found "that there were many different agencies already engaged in a variety of different actions," Dorschner continues. "It just wasn't coordinated. So we brought everybody to the table to find out the best way to respond."
Continue for more about the nationwide Spice raids, including additional photos and documents.