BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Jefferson County deputies and DEA officers are on location at a Texaco gas station in the Birmingham area. The bust is part of the nationwide Operation Red Tide. The DEA is serving warrants throughout the state on Wednesday.
DEA spokesman Rusty Payne spoke with CBS42’s Kaitlin McCulley. He tells her that they expect to make 25-30 arrests in Alabama, with the majority of them coming from the Birmingham area. The raids are targeting synthetic drugs, including stimulants and hallucinogens, that are being marketed as herbs, incense, and aromas. Payne says the drugs, which are manufactured in China, are very dangerous.
This raids aren’t just over the health concerns these drugs create though. Payne says they believe the profits being made off of these drugs are being wired back to places like Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern countries, making this a national security risk as well.
Payne says in one local smoke shop, they discovered that $38 million had been transferred to the owner’s home back in Yemen. The money was transferred over 150 wire transfers.
CBS42 has a person on the scene. We will bring you the latest on this developing story as soon as we get the latest information.
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