ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The DEA announced the largest ever, synthetic drug take down, which includes ties to the Middle East. FOX 2 was the first tv station in the country to expose synthetic cocaine, called 'bath salts,' nearly three years ago.
It was investigative reporter Chris Hayes, who first found out what fake 'bath salts' really were. He's tracked it ever since.
This was the first packet of synthetic cocaine we bought in the Fall of 2010. It was marketed as 'bath salts.' A hardcore Coke user told me it was ten times stronger than anything he`d ever tried and a toxicologist who tested it agreed.
Since then, police have cracked down and legislators have quoted our stories on Fox 2 as they've passed bans. Those bans, especially a ban at the federal level, led agents to nearly wipe out supply. But the synthetic drug trade has continued, underground. The Feds say they've been watching and after this latest bust, they now claim the synthetic drug trade is tied to the Middle East, with potentially millions of dollars going overseas.
We`ve continued monitoring synthetic drug sales, even as they've gone underground. Clerks and buyers now sometimes speak in code. Federal agents say they`re onto it. We expect to hear more about this massive crackdown in the coming weeks.