MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley spoke out Wednesday, May 7 about a nationwide synthetic drug ring.
Officers all over the state of Alabama were cracking down on Spice users and dealers.
Across the nation, nearly 200 warrants were served, and more than $20 million worth of drug money was taken off the streets.
It’s part of Project Synergy – a nationwide operation focused on shutting down synthetic marijuana manufacturers and dealers.
Gov. Bentley explained why Spice is so dangerous.
“Listen, these synthetic drugs are dangerous drugs, they cause hallucinations. They cause, really, schizophrenic reactions, they make people psychotic. I mean, these are psychotic drugs,” Bentley said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the biggest operation happened in Alabama. Hundreds of pounds of Spice were taken of the streets, and dozens of arrests were made.
Ten counties in Alabama were part of Phase 1 of the operation. Baldwin and Mobile counties were not on the list.
FOX10 News asked Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier why.
“We are very much aware of the problems you are dealing with,” Collier said during an earlier press conference.
FOX10 News also asked Gov. Bentley the same question.
“There are some real problems in the Mobile area, especially in the Prichard area. There are some ongoing operations there that we really can’t talk about at the present time. But there are some problems, surely some major problems that out law enforcement will be dealing with,” Bentley said.
DEA Special Agent Keith Brown revealed an alarming statistic every parent should know. He said one out of every 10 high schooler is using Spice. He offered a piece of advice to parents.
“The biggest thing I tell parents, it’s a harsh statement, is, ‘Don’t believe your kids. They will lie to you about something like this.’ When you see this type of packaging, when you see this substance, when you see this type of behavior, there’s a reason for it. And when your son or daughter says, ‘Oh, those bags of Spice under my bed aren’t mine,’ chances are they are your (child’s),” he said.
The DEA is also tracking the money involved with Spice. Investigators said million of dollars made from selling Spice is ending up in the Middle East in places like Syria and Yemen.