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America’s first known fentanyl-laced Spice lab busted in Phoenix

Published On: 07-12-2016 in Category: drug bust, Fentanyl, Spice


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Arizona recently unearthed what is believed to be America’s first known Spice lab using fentanyl. Four persons were arrested in connection with the drug bust case. During the raid, conducted in June 2016, the police found Spice laced with potent drug fentanyl. The counterfeit drugs were made by combining the two with a cement mixture.

The arrested were aged between 30 and 40 years and were believed to be residents of Arizona. According to the 12news.com, the accused operated the lab from a home in Phoenix. DEA special agent Doug Coleman said that they found large quantities of Spice in the lab during the raid. He also said that fentanyl is generally used in microgram quantities due to its potency.

Though Spice is in itself an illegal drug and can be lethal, mixing it with an extremely potent drug like fentanyl can cause overdoses and can be fatal. Coleman said, “You could get a leaf with 50 micrograms on it while another leaf could have two on it. If you get the one with 50, you’re a goner.”

The main concern is the ignorance on the part of the users who might not even know that the drug they are consuming was not Spice but a counterfeit version coated with fentanyl. Hence, the DEA intended not only to catch the drug peddlers but also to put the message across people about the kind of drug they have been using out of ignorance.

The officers were, however, unclear about the duration of the operations and the amounts of these counterfeit drugs that have been circulating on the streets and have become a part of the users’ must-have lists. The investigations into this case are still in progress and more people are suspected to be involved in the racket.

Drug busts by DEA

DEA officers have seized more than 35 pounds of fentanyl in Arizona in the past 18 months that are equivalent to 7.5 million doses, big enough to create a stir across the state, and the nation at large, as per the officers. Moreover, DEA agents have been involved in several such drug busts where marijuana and cocaine are a common sight. In fact, the agents have also been involved in raids of other surreptitious labs that have been illegally producing methamphetamine or Spice.

In another case, the officers had busted an illegal methamphetamine lab in Phoenix in April 2016, which was operated from the residence of Emily Pitha (34), who was a part of U.S. Senator John McCain’s re-election fundraisers. According to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, illegal drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD and heroin were found during the raids.

Finding remedy

With police and federal officials busting innumerable illegal drug trades in Arizona, it can be inferred that there are a lot of people who are using such drugs.

If you or your loved one is addicted to drugs, seek medical help immediately. The Phoenix Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get the most effective customized drug treatment programs suiting your needs. You may chat online with our certified representatives or call at our 24/7 helpline number 480-696-5152 for more information.

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