UPDATE: 3 Iowa City shops raided in massive synthetic drug bust - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: 3 Iowa City shops raided in massive synthetic drug bust

Posted: Updated:
A police officer guards the door of Zombies in Iowa City during a synthetic drug raid May 7, 2014. The raid was part of a nationwide raid on similar shops. A police officer guards the door of Zombies in Iowa City during a synthetic drug raid May 7, 2014. The raid was part of a nationwide raid on similar shops.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) - At least three Iowa City tobacco and smoke shops were raided, and more in the area may be likely, as officials conducted a nationwide search for synthetic drugs.

The Iowa City Police Department is assisting federal and local law enforcement during a nationwide synthetic drug bust.

Warrants were served at three Iowa City location Wednesday morning.

Those locations were Zombies Tobacco and Pipes at 316 E. Burlington St., Happy Daze at 361 E. College St., and Pipe Dreamz at 355 South Linn St., all in Iowa City.

The Iowa City Police say investigators took evidence related to the investigation, but officers are not saying what or how much was confiscated, only that they took items used in the production or sale of synthetic drugs.

More synthetic drug busts in the Corridor are expected Wednesday, including Linn County.

Officials with the Tri-County Drug Task Force said they weren't involved with any drug busts with the DEA today. Tri-County covers Black Hawk and Bremer counties.

The Drug Enforcement Administration confirms Iowa is one of at least 45 states involved in this nationwide crackdown.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican representing Iowa, released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Anything that’s outlawed shouldn’t be for sale at the local convenience store," Grassley wrote in an email to media. "Synthetic drugs are linked to a number of deaths around the country and serious injury such as damage to internal organs. Federal law enforcement says some of the proceeds from synthetic drug sales flow to other countries and that many of the component chemicals are made in China.

"Teen-agers who might think a product is safe because it’s sold in the United States are mistaken," he added. "That’s why it’s important to public safety to crack down on illegal synthetic drugs."

The DEA has been cracking down on synthetic drugs, including so-called bath salts, spice and Molly, since the drugs first gained widespread popularity years ago.

Click here for the DEA's full press release from today: http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kwwl/Documents/DEArelease.docx
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