A nationwide drug operation, dubbed Project Synergy, has led to the arrest of 16 individuals by the Columbiana Police Department. Officers seized more than 400 grams of synthetic and real marijuana, as well as other narcotics during the statewide raid. It is believed that the estimated street value of the narcotics seized is around $15,000.
In total, Alabama law enforcement agencies made 38 arrests and seized more than 200 pounds of synthetic drugs in the 10-county raid that took place on May 7, 2014. The counties targeted by agents in Alabama were: Houston, Montgomery, Lee, Dallas, Jefferson, Shelby, DeKalb, Etowah, Morgan, and Madison.
More than 35 federal, state, and local agencies also seized $500,000 and 19 guns as part of the national drug takedown that was led by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Project Synergy is a joint operation between the DEA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and local law enforcement agencies. The raid specifically targets manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and wholesalers dealing in over 250 different types of synthetic drugs. Most of these synthetic drugs are being manufactured in China and are being sold by retailers who send profits back to the Middle East.
Initial phases of Project Synergy began in December 2012 and led to more than 227 arrests and 416 search warrants in 35 states.