Tampa Police Raid Nets $500,000 Worth of Spice
Spice, synthetic marijuana, is highly addictive, Tampa police say.
TAMPA – In a spice lab raid this week Tampa Police detectives confiscated more than $500,000 worth of the drug spice from a storage facility that had the equipment and materials to produce tens of thousands of packages of the extremely dangerous, highly addictive drug.
Spice, also known as synthetic marijuana, has been attributed to several deaths and serious injuries in the Tampa Bay area, as well as bizarre and dangerous behavior, police said.
“Getting this amount of spice off the streets is a huge win for us,” Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward said. “On both sides of Tampa Bay we have seen far too many cases of dangerous or deadly consequences related to spice. The best way to have an impact is to stop spice at the source, and that’s what we’ve done.”
On Tuesday (May 24), acting on a warrant, Tampa police detectives entered the storage facility where they found more than 20,000 packages of spice, ready for sale. They also found 250-300 pounds of the green leafy substance used in spice, as well as the chemicals and flavoring agents used to make the drug. In addition, detectives confiscated equipment used to mix and package the drug.
It was clear from evidence at the scene that the packages of spice were intended for sale in the area, police said. In the past two months, Tampa police have responded to more than 300 incidents believed to be related to spice. Tampa Fire Rescue has seen a similar spike in spice-related calls in the past two months.
Tampa police are working the spice lab case in tandem with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. At this time, no arrest has been made in connection with the spice bust, and the location of the storage facility is not being disclosed while the case is under investigation.
Law enforcement agencies and health care officials in the Tampa Bay area and elsewhere have had challenges combating spice. It is an inexpensive, potentially very potent drug that has emerged as a popular drug among the poor and homeless. Depending on the source, the drug can vary greatly in terms of potency, which increases the danger and health risk. The chemical formula used
to make spice is constantly evolving, making it difficult to define, prosecute, and treat.
For information about the Tampa police, go to tampagov.net.
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