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NATIONAL REPORT -- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents teamed with local police in multiple states to raid shops and convenience stores suspected of selling synthetic drugs such as K2 and Spice. Stores in nearly 100 cities were raided as part of the first-ever nationwide crackdown on the drugs, according to USA Today.
The raid comes less than a month after President Obama signed a federal ban on synthetic drugs, which are often labeled as bath salts or herbal incense.
Participating cities include Columbus, Ohio, where a drug task force raided three shops and one convenience store, and arrested two people; Worthington, Ohio, where the DEA raided a business that agents believe supplied the Columbus stores; Duluth, Minn., where federal agents executed search warrants at a shop known as Last Place on Earth; Tampa, Fla.; upstate New York; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and many others.
NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, warned more than 148,000 member stores to remove the products from shelves once the federal ban took effect; however, many c-stores did not comply.
Ohio outlawed the synthetic drugs prior to the federal ban, and Columbus police executed 16 search warrants at c-stores last May.
"We let them know you need to quit it," said Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott. Undercover officers later visited the stores again, according to the report.
"Sure enough, they were at it again. There's plenty of money to be made," said Scott. "This time, we're making arrests."