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Agents bust drug operation making K2 and marketing to teens

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Drug raid

A big bust in southwest Houston -- boxes of synthetic marijuana and chemicals used to make it are now off the streets. Drug enforcement agents spent most of the day Thursday at a warehouse on Bellflower and Jeanetta.

Investigators say what they found inside was a major drug lab with lots of toxic chemicals. Boxes upon boxes are stacked and stuffed with packages of synthetic marijuana, and just a few steps away, dozens of buckets and barrels of acetone. The toxic chemical agents say culprits here were using to make illegal synthetic pot.

DEA Agent Javier Pena said, "It is very dangerous when you mix a product with acetone and you put it in your body."

Agent Pena and a crew of undercover drug enforcement investigators began raiding the warehouse on Thursday morning, dismantling what they're calling a dangerous and unsanitary illegal drug manufacturing lab.

"So this is what's getting kids, adults, young adults sick, all of this stuff that's out here," Agent Pena said. "So it is very dangerous. So we're trying to tell the public, the parents, be careful."

Investigators say the unidentified group behind this toxic stuff commonly called K2 or Spice was filling dirty cement mixers with dry-grass or barley, adding acetone, hallucinogenic and a variety of fruity flavoring. Then they packaged for sale across Houston.

Agent Pena said, "They try to get the kids to buy this stuff, with all the colors, all the fancy materials, try to entice them."

Agents say they found and seized 65,000 packages of the illegal substance all set to hit the streets, and at least another half-ton of the stuff waiting to be bagged.

Agents tell me the synthetic drugs they seized have a street value of $750,000. Meanwhile, neighbors are shocked this all happened next door to a church.

The investigation is ongoing.

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