DEA: Four-county drug operation targeting middle, high school st -

DEA: Four-county drug operation targeting middle, high school students

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

( – News 4 is learning more about a massive raid first reported Wednesday night at 10 p.m.

Agents from the DEA, IRS and Immigration swooped in on locations in St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County and Lincoln County that were involved in the manufacture, packaging and sale of synthetic drugs.

No arrests were made Wednesday but the raid helped shut down a major drug operation and identify suspects federal agents expect to be indicted soon.

“This was a significant synthetic drug operation,” said Jim Schroba with the DEA. “Yesterday was a big step and it was a major blow to this particular group”

Some of the locations were used as storage. Neighbors to a property raided near Barnhart say those renting it claimed they were storing candy, but authorities believe it’s where drums of synthetic drugs similar to marijuana or cocaine were shipped from Asia. They were then put into small packages that made them look like a legitimate product.

The DEA said Thursday the substances are especially dangerous because no one really knows what’s in the package or what affect it will have when ingested.

“You can bet that the user has no idea what’s in these pills or in these liquids and the distributor for damn sure doesn’t care,” Schroba said. “It’s all about greed.”

The DEA says the drug operation made big bucks, mostly on sales to middle school and high school teens.

That’s why Schroba warns parents that they need to be on their toes to know what they’re dealing with.

“You gotta be aware of it because it’s exceptionally dangerous and prevalent,” he said.     

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