GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Across the nation this year, law enforcement agents have confiscated hundreds of thousands of packets of spice, more than $20 million in cash, and arrested 150 people as part of Operation Synergy.
In South Mississippi, DEA agents seized more than $200,000 in cash, several guns and more than a million dollars worth of the synthetic drug. Our news cameras were rolling as DEA agents busted down doors at three houses, and walked away with more than 200 pounds of spice - enough to fill an entire room.
"It's a major problem here," DEA Resident Agent in Charge Danny Comeaux said. "The only way we are able to combat this problem is by putting all of our badges into one box working together."
Federal agents work very closely with state and local officers every day to find the users, manufacturers, and suppliers of synthetic drugs and get them off the streets.
"We have numerous drug seizures every day, numerous amounts of spice that we see. It's a problem that when people are taking these things and they don't understand the health risks," Gulfport Chief Deputy Chris Loposser said.
"Spice is a very dangerous drug," Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis said. "In this particular case, the individual is just manufacturing it in his house, so it's hard to know what chemicals are going into this stuff."
Acetone is one of the dangerous chemicals being used locally to make the illegal drug.
"We have seen, based on your story recently, that more and more people are showing up in the emergency rooms as a result of ingesting spice," Davis said.
Even though hundreds of pounds of spice has been confiscated in South Mississippi, much more remains on the street.
"This is something that we have to focus our resources on each and every day," Loposser said. "We will continue to work together to combat this problem."
DEA agents say four people arrested Wednesday are alleged major suppliers of spice in South Mississippi. Two live here locally, one in San Diego, and the other in Connecticut.