TAMPA, Florida -- Wearing white hazmat suits to protect themselves from toxic chemicals, DEA agents remove box after box of synthetic marijuana from a small warehouse just outside Ybor City. It's just one of five places raided in Hillsborough County, as the feds teamed up with local cops for one of the biggest crackdowns yet on spice and K2-type products.
A new federal law recently expanded the type of chemicals that are illegal to use, and with that new standard, descended on 66 cities nationwide to stop the production of spice. Thousands of pounds of the drug were confiscated, and it was the motherload. Agents seized enough spice to fill an industrial size dumpster, with a street value that runs into the millions.
But the feds are not focused on just spice; there is danger. Agents found barrels of acetone, an extremely flammable chemical that, if ignited, could blow the warehouse to bits. The substance was analyzed and carried away with extreme caution.
Not far away, there was another raid on Benjamin Road near the airport. Agents found similar products and chemicals. They were all seized and destroyed.
More than 47 people were working in these warehouses. All of them were released, but federal investigators took their names and testimony for possible future use during prosecution.