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Synthetic Drugs Swept Off El Paso Streets

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce more than 20 pounds of illegal synthetic drugs were swept off the streets.

In a conjoined effort between the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, several businesses were served with search warrants during Wednesday morning’s ‘Operation Sugar and Spice’.

ABC-7 was the only television station to ride along with agents and sheriff’s officials.

No arrests were made, but Sheriff Wiles says his office is preparing cases for the District Attorney against the business owners.

Seven local shops, gas stations and grocery stores were found selling ‘spice’ and bath salts over the counter. The drugs have been identified to contain a controlled substance also known as ‘K2’

Texas lawmakers banned the chemical ‘K2’ back in September.

Consuming them leads to hallucinations and highs similar to those of pot and cocaine.

“There certainly has been an increase in El Paso of the number of calls to the poison control center, people react differently and it’s really unpredictable,” said Sheriff Wiles of the illegal substance.

Joe Arabit, a special agent with the DEA, says the synthetic drugs have been found at El Paso schools and at Fort Bliss.

The possession of synthetic drugs is a felony, any person found with more than 400 grams could face anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison, if convicted.

Sheriff Wiles says more raids are expected.

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