Ninety people were arrested, 5 million packets of "designer drugs" were seized and $36 million in cash were taken nationwide in the first-ever sweep of manufacturers of the synthetic – and legally sold – recreational drugs known as “bath salts” – said a DEA spokesperson.
The operation, which authorities compared to “cutting [distribution] off at the source” (as opposed to at the “retail level”) was executed in at least one home in Scottsdale and many more in Phoenix – where officials served warrants to target potential makers of fake marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine which nonetheless were being legally sold (for as little as $20) in the area’s most popular smoking shops.
The raids, known as “Operation Log Jam,” were conducted by the DEA and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with assistance by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Adminstration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Customs and Border Protections and countless local and state agencies.
Legislators, police officers and doctors have been expressing frustration as federal bans have failed to curb the cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine substitutes off smoke shop shelves in the area and around the country. The bath salts-fueled "Zombie Apocalypse" started on Memorial Weekend, in Miami, Florida, when a man believed to be under the influence of the lethal substance chewed off over 70% of his victim's face before being fatally shot by police.
Since then, similarly gruesome attacks multiplied across the nation with last week's warning from Tempe police about the lethal and dangerous nature of bath salts being the most recent. They arrested two people; one who they say ran naked through a neighborhood and another who crashed his vehicle into an apartment-complex gate. In addition, a Chandler a man believed to be high on the substance was arrested after burning his son’s wrist when they boy reached for his bible.