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DEA uncovers first ever known Fentanyl-laced Spice lab in the U.S.

June 23, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
DEA uncovers first ever known Fentanyl-laced Spice lab in the U.S.

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DEA officials in Arizona were shocked to have discovered the first clandestine lab used to make Spice laced with the deadly drug Fentanyl in the United States.

Agents received a tip during a recent investigation that led to uncovering a homemade lab used to manufacture Spice with Fentanyl inside a house in the north Phoenix area.

Authorities also arrested four Arizona residents between the ages of 30 and 40 years old in the raid.

Federal officials said the suspects combined Spice and Fentanyl in the lab using a cement mixer.

Details of the raid remain limited. However, agents said the investigation is still active, and that they expect to make more arrests, NBC News12 Arizona reported.

DEA Special Agent Doug Coleman was astonished at the discovery. He said, “It was like, ‘Oh wow,’ we found many pounds of the Spice product and when you consider it is usually sold in gram quantities, and Fentanyl itself is used in microgram quantities, you are talking about hundreds of thousands of doses could have gone out to the street.”

“This is a high-priority case,” Coleman continued. “Again, this is a trend we have never seen before.”

Fentanyl is used by Mexican drug cartels to increase the potency of heroin. Its introduction into to the U.S. has resulted in a surge in the rate of accidental overdoses across the country.

Spice remains illegal and can be deadly, but when mixed with Fentanyl the danger posed to the user significantly increases.

“[Fentanyl] is so powerful it’s given in microgram quantities,” Coleman explained. “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, A small amount of this can cause overdose deaths,” he added.

DEA agents in Arizona have intercepted over 35 pounds of Fentanyl, totaling 7.5 million doses.

It’s unclear how long the lab was operational or how much of the Spice laced with Fentanyl is out on the street, which has federal officials deeply troubled and an effort is underway to alert the public of the risk posed by the drug.

“I say it’s not just a chance, but probability there is Spice on the streets of Arizona laced with Fentanyl,” said Coleman.

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