Feds Launch Nationwide Synthetic Drug Crackdown

According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal drug agents have arrested more than 100 people across the country in the latest phase of a national crackdown on manufacturers and purveyors of synthetic drugs. Since July of 2014, it is reported that the DEA, in cooperation with other state and federal agencies, has arrested over 151 people in 16 states.  Government agents also seized more than $15 million in cash and assets as part of Project Synergy, an ongoing DEA crackdown on synthetic drugs. Most recently, agents in the Southern California area seized $500,000 in cash and 200 pounds of synthetic drugs. This crackdown operation ended in October 2015.

The DEA has been focusing on synthetic drugs, including bath salts, Spice, and Molly since their use gained widespread popularity because they do not show up on drug tests. Additionally, six new synthetic drugs have increased the number of drug-related deaths in San Diego within the last year. Authorities have never seen these compounds in autopsies before.

What You Need to Know About Synthetic Marijuana

Many synthetic drugs contain synthetic cannabinoids–chemical compounds similar to THC in marijuana. The DEA adds more synthetic compounds to the ‘ban’ list each year, but it is difficult for them to keep up with the new compounds that are made. The problem with synthetic drugs such as a synthetic marijuana is that the compounds are unknown and can cause serious injury or death to users. As a result, selling synthetic cannabinoids is against the law under California Health & Safety Code Section 11357.5. Conviction can carry serious criminal penalties.

One is guilty of selling a synthetic cannabinoid if s/he:

  • Sells, dispenses, administers, gives, or offers to sell a synthetic cannabinoid to any person;
  • Possesses for sale any synthetic cannabinoid compound, or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative.

The Statute specifically identifies five synthetic substances that constitute a synthetic cannabinoid:

  • 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole (JWH-018).
  • 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole (JWH-073).
  • 1-A2-4(4-morpholinyl) ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole (JWH-200).
  • 5-(1,10dimethylheptyl)-2-A(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (CP-47,497).
  • 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-A(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol; CP-47, 497 C8 homologue)

Conviction of this crime is punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. It is a misdemeanor.

San Diego Drug Crimes and Synthetic Drugs Lawyer

The Law Offices of David Boertje has defended many serious drug charges. Mr. Boertje is aggressive when it comes to protecting your rights and will advise you of potential defenses. A lot of people do not realize the use or sale of synthetic drugs is still a crime, and do not have an intent to break the law. As such, synthetic drug charges are still drug charges with grave consequences. We are licensed to practice in federal court and state court and can represent you in your criminal defense case during the entire process. If you  have been charged with any drug-related crime, do not wait to contact our office. Our consultations are free and confidential.