INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Several people are behind bars after police in Marion bust a suspected synthetic drug ring to stop the production of hundreds of pounds of spice.
“This is specifically a synthetic cannabinoid so it mimics the effects of THC on the body,” said Marion Police Sgt. Detective Josh Zigler.
A tip from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol led to a package full of a yellow powdery synthetic drug from China and to the arrests of more than half a dozen people now suspected of the drug ring in Grant County.
“These were continual shipments. It is not like it just started,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
The Joint Enforcement Against Narcotics Team or the JEAN Team in Grant County says the drugs were shipped to a Marion home on Wednesday.
“It was going to be sprayed onto some plant-like material. The amount of drugs that came in would produce several hundred pounds of finished product,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
Within five minutes investigators say the suspects had the spice in baggies ready to distribute.
“We wanted to make sure that they did not get into the community. That was our biggest fear,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
Undercover investigators with the JEAN Team say Joseph Butler was the main target of the investigation. Detectives sat Butler used his 8-year-old son’s name to order the drug from China, but federal authorities still flagged the package.
“The synthetics that are being made and brought in from China are getting worse,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
Recently, the JEAN Team says they have seen more overdoses linked to spice in Grant County.
“Lately we have seen individuals that are so out of their mind that they have jumped on car hoods and pulled the window wipers. We actually had a whole family passed out in a car,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
These arrests are just a glimpse at the dent they’ve put in the county’s drug trade and the promise that they will keep going until more suspected dealers are behind bars.
“The issue of spice and other synthetic drugs has been going on for several years now. The community has wanted something done about it for a while,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.
Investigators say more arrests could be coming as investigators continue to monitor for more shipments of the synthetic drugs,” said Sgt. Detective Zigler.