Six luxury cars, one Highland Park home, bank accounts, 11 headshops and $3 million in cash. All of that was recently seized by federal drug agents from what they described as a criminal organization making and selling synthetic marijuana.
The focus of their charges is a 45-year-old headshop chain, The Gas Pipe, with locations across the Dallas and Fort Worth area, as well as in Austin and Albuquerque, New Mexico. No drug charges have been filed against the company’s owners.
The investigation of the shops began when a Dallas man was pulled over in traffic. Inside his vehicle, officers said they found synthetic drugs that he had manufactured and packaged in his Lewisville home. The Drug Enforcement Agency alleges that the man sold his products at Gas Pipe stores in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The stores will apparently stay open until a court determines whether the DEA can seize and shutter the chain.
Agents reportedly claim that one of the stores was remodeled to enable the manufacture of K2, a synthetic form of pot.
News reports in 2011 detailed the outlawing of syntheticmarijuana, often sold under various names (including K2 and Spice). The substances are made from organic materials chemically treated to give them psychoactive qualities. However, the synthetic pot products do not include THC, the active ingredient in authentic marijuana.
People charged with manufacturing or selling these products can be facing felonies that can result in significant incarceration and other penalties upon conviction. Anyone facing those possibilities should decline to speak to police or prosecutors before discussing their case with a criminal defense attorney.
Source: CBS Dallas, "DEA Targets Head Shop For Manufacturing Synthetic Drugs," June 5, 2014