More than 20,000 units of synthetic drugs were seized on Tuesday as part of the second statewide enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry.
Law enforcement served 12 search warrants and found more than 20,000 units of synthetic drugs often marketed as "spice" or "K2", 50 pounds of bulk spice ready for retail packaging, over three kilograms of raw chemicals, over $385,000 in cash and in bank accounts, four vehicles and five firearms.
The warrants were served to a manufacturing warehouse, five retail outlets and various residences in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Before the bust, the Drug Enforcement Administration had already seized 33 kilograms of "Spice" and several raw chemicals to produce an additional 110 kilograms.
The DEA has been investigating a large drug organization responsible for manufacturing and distributing synthetic drugs in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
These substances are sold in legitimate-looking packaging and marketed with catchy titles like Spice, Blaze, Vanilla Sky and incense. Often times, these products come with a disclaimer that they are "not for human consumption" to disguise how dangerous they are.
In 2010 poison centers nationwide had about 3,200 calls related to synthetic "Spice" and "bath salts"; the number jumped to 13,000 calls in 2011.