TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of a drug investigation Friday.
Sheriff David Gee said two investigations into illegal narcotics led to “numerous” arrests and the seizure of $352,000 worth of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as “spice.”
Gee said the number of incidents involving subjects under the influence of spice has increased over the past several years. These incidents include overdoses and intoxicated suspects who sometimes attack or violently resist law enforcement.
HCSO says they developed strategy aimed at all levels of spice distribution, to include street-level dealers, mid level distributors and businesses as well as upper level spice manufacturers. Throughout the investigation, detectives investigated a wide range of suspects, including homeless individuals and certified gang members, as well as business owners with no prior involvement in the criminal justice system.
The State Attorney’s Office and agents from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco assisted the sheriff’s office in the investigation.
Part of the investigation targeted licensed businesses that were actively selling spice.
According to HCSO, detectives seized 150 pounds of spice that was packaged for sale nearby the University of South Florida. Also during the investigation, 222 pounds of Damania leaves — which are used to manufacture spice — was seized, along with $10,500 of cash.
HCSO says the seized spice has an estimated street value of $352,000.