Tag Archives: dea news

2 Arrested in Sweeping Designer Drug Bust After Overdose Death; Synthetic Lab Operated Out of Luxury Long Island City High-Rise, Investigators Say

A 34-year-old Queens man and a 29-year-old New Jersey woman were arrested in connection with the alleged conspiracy

A Queens man and a New Jersey woman have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to distribute dangerous designer drugs, including a synthetic opioid several times more potent than morphine that has been blamed for at least one overdose death, authorities said Tuesday.

The arrests stem from an ongoing investigation that culminated with a huge raid at a luxury waterfront high-rise in Long Island City, thought to be the site of a synthetic drug lab, earlier in the day. Another raid was simultaneously conducted in Farmingdale, New Jersey, where the female suspect lives.

According to a criminal complaint, 34-year-old Brian Parker allegedly manufactured and distributed controlled substance analogues, drugs that are “substantially similar” to controlled substances, and other illegal chemicals through two internet-based companies he controlled. The substances sold through his websites were linked to a 2016 overdose death in Wisconsin.

An autopsy revealed the 37-year-old man who overdosed died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of a substance called U-47700, a synthetic opioid, and Etizolam, a synthetic, fast-acting depressant.

Source: 2 Arrested in Sweeping Designer Drug Bust After Overdose Death; Synthetic Lab Operated Out of Luxury Long Island City High-Rise, Investigators Say – NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Raid-Long-Island-City-New-York–442103943.html#ixzz4rAveXuTH
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DEA raids colossal fentanyl operation. Could produce thousands of pills per hour.

By Ben Guarino

In one of the largest drug busts in Utah history, federal agents seized synthetic opioids in bulk and cash by the bagful on Tuesday. The home the agents raided contained a “pill press,” which they considered to be the source of thousands, possibly millions, of fentanyl pills. The drug producers falsely labeled the pills as Xanax or oxycodone and distributed the capsules in part by mail across the United States.

Multiple federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Guard, as well as the Internal Revenue Service, surrounded a house located in the city of Cottonwood Heights, in Salt Lake County. Authorities also searched another home, which the Salt Lake Tribune described as a “stash location.” At the stash location alone, the Tribune reported that authorities found 70,000 pills disguised as oxycodone and another 25,000 as fake Xanax.

Witnesses likened the scene at Cottonwood Heights to something “out of a science fiction movie,” as ABC4 Utah News put it, because agents donned oxygen tanks and protective gear before entering the home. Agencies were concerned that skin contact with fentanyl powder, which was reportedly present throughout the house, posed a danger.

Full Read – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/23/dea-raids-colossal-fentanyl-operation-in-one-of-the-largest-drug-busts-in-utah-history/

Ohio sheriff says family massacre not linked to drug cartel: report

Officials investigating the execution-style killings of eight family members in rural Ohio six months ago have ruled out the involvement of a Mexican drug cartel and now believe whoever committed the crimes was likely from the area, local media reported.

Eight members of the Rhoden family, ranging in age from 16 to 44, were shot to death in the Appalachian foothills on April 22. Local media previously quoted unidentified law enforcement officials saying a Mexican drug cartel could have been involved after marijuana cultivation sites were found at one of the crime scenes.

“Absolutely not,” Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader told a local TV station on Monday when asked if he believed Mexican cartels were involved in the murders.

“With the nature of the investigation and the things that have been revealed when conducting the investigation there would be no indication to me as to any type of Mexican drug cartel being involved,” he said in an interview with ABC affiliate WCPO Cincinnati.

The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden Sr, 40; Christopher Rhoden Jr, 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44, were killed in what officials said was a planned, “sophisticated operation.” Many of the victims were shot in the head as they slept. Three young children were found alive.

Tim Reagan, a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer in Cincinnati, told the TV station he also believed there was no link to the Mexican cartel.

“If there was a strong Mexican cartel connection, I’d feel more comfortable telling you, and I don’t see it,” he said.

The DEA directed questions on the case to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the Ohio attorney general, said the office would not comment on motives prior to an arrest being made but does believe the crimes were committed by multiple people who were familiar with the property.

Full Read – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ohio-shooting-idUSKCN12I2CS

Drug industry hired dozens of officials from the DEA as the agency tried to curb opioid abuse

By Scott Higham, Lenny Bernstein, Steven Rich and Alice Crites

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive pain pills have hired dozens of officials from the top levels of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the past decade, according to a Washington Post investigation.

The hires came after the DEA launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year. In 2005, the DEA began to crack down on companies that were distributing inordinate numbers of pills such as oxycodone to pain-management clinics and pharmacies around the country.

Since then, the pharmaceutical companies and law firms that represent them have hired at least 42 officials from the DEA — 31 of them directly from the division responsible for regulating the industry, according to work histories compiled by The Post and interviews with current and former agency officials.

The number of hires has prompted some current and former government officials to ask whether the companies raided the division to hire away DEA officials who were architects of the agency’s enforcement campaign or were most responsible for enforcing the laws the firms were accused of violating.

“The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,” said John Carnevale, former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, who now runs a consulting firm. “These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.”

Read Full – https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/key-officials-switch-sides-from-dea-to-pharmaceutical-industry/2016/12/22/55d2e938-c07b-11e6-b527-949c5893595e_story.html?utm_term=.a6e6664d1a03