NYPD and DEA Bust Major K2 Drug Ring
New York City’s K2 supply took a major hit last week as the NYPD and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a major bust that effectively took down one of the city’s large drug rings.
The super sized bust was the fruitful result of a one year investigation, which culminated in the arrest and indictment of 10 individuals, raids on over 90 bodegas, the seizure of 300,000 individual packages of ready to distribute K2 along with a whopping three truckloads” of precursor chemicals and supplies.
The drug ring in question is believed to be a heavy hitter in international trafficking and is suspected of being a major supplier of one of the most dangerous
What is K2 Spice?
K2 Spice is known as synthetic weed, but it is really a mix of chemical cannabinoids that are sprayed onto dried herbs. The sprayed herbs are then combined with a variety of dangerous solvents, cheap chemicals from China and flavored additives.
After that bit of mad scientist action is complete, the final product is bagged up into small colorful packages with inviting and even silly names that effectively mask the serious effects that may be experienced while using K2. The cute names and lower selling price of $1 to $5 makes K2 a hard drug to resist for teenagers, young adults, low income drug users and, most of all, the growing NYC homeless population.
K2 has quickly taken New York City by storm. Users are flocking to emergency rooms at the alarming rates of 2,300 visits in just a two month span, committing crimes while under the drug’s influence, and exhibiting bizarre and at times dangerous behaviors.
Authorities and medical personnel are frequently left to question the culprit behind a users symptoms, behavior or actions, but still, not many labs offer a Spice K2 (Synthetic Marijuana) Drug Test when it’s needed. The rapidly changing mix of chemicals means not all K2 has the same metabolic structure, which is posing a challenge to the drug testing industry. Since not all chemicals are banned, drug manufacturers attempt to stay one step ahead of the law by frequently changing the chemical makeup of K2. As the law catches up, they move on to the next drug, while the drug testing labs struggle to keep pace.
State officials have grown increasingly concerned by the rapid increase in use, distribution and community impacts felt by the K2 epidemic. Even the NYPD Commissioner, Bill Bratton, attests to this in his statement released shortly after the massive raids. He said, “This is a scourge on our society, affecting the most disadvantaged neighborhoods and our most challenged citizens. It affects teenagers in public housing, homeless in the city shelter system, and it’s quite literally flooding our streets. This is marketed as synthetic marijuana, some call it K2. It is sold by the names of Galaxy, Diamond, Rush and Matrix. But its real name is poison.”
What’s the Next Step Against K2?
There is still much work to be done to end the state wide battle against this dangerous substance as authorities plan to pursue stricter legislative bans on not only K2 but also other forms of synthetic marijuana or other drugs with comparable effects. As a result, the crackdown is expected to continue as New York prosecutors allude to the possibility of more arrests, more indictments and more raids if that’s what it takes to eradicate this substance. Public awareness, however, remains low; most companies and families that need a drug test in NYC are not aware of the need to specifically ask that K2 Spice be included in the test.
Driving the state’s mission against K2 home is Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. He said in a powerful statement during the news conference following the raid, “Today’s collective action is just the start of a response, one that will not end until this poison in a packet no longer endangers our community. We will, if appropriate, arrest store owners who openly peddle poison. Don’t take any chances and do a public service: Stop selling Spice now.”