Designer drugs, also known as synthetic drugs, have been growing in popularity in Alabama and nationwide. According to local reports, authorities have arrested and charged two suspects and recovered $100,000 worth of a specific designer drug that has not yet been classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Designer drugs are often packaged and sold as other products, including “bath salts” and are trafficked from Asia and internationally. Those who are arrested and charged with trafficking classified synthetic drugs can face serious consequences and penalties, including an extended sentence in an Alabama prison.
Any drug crime can result in serious penalties and charges and should be reviewed by an experienced attorney. Charges involving synthetic drugs can be especially complex due to the nature of their packaging and new classifications. Our Birmingham drug defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of clients facing criminal charges. We will take the time to review your case, identify your legal options, and pursue the best possible course of action to minimize charges and penalties. When charged with a drug crime, it is best to involve an attorney at the outset to improve your defense opportunities.
According to reports, the confiscated drug consisted of a white powder known as AB-Pinaca. This is a chemical compound identified by law enforcement officials to make synthetic drugs known as “spice.” Allegedly, four pounds of the product were shipped from China to a home in Etowah County. Local law enforcement officers collaborated with the U.S. Postal Service, the FBI and other federal agencies to seize the package after a two-week investigation. Local officials reported that it was the first time the drug had been seized in Alabama; however, law enforcement authorities suspect that synthetic drug crimes are on the rise, replacing methamphetamine.
AB-Pinaca is a new synthetic drug on the market that can lead to injury of the circulatory system, lung failure, as well as kidney damage. Authorities also report that the drug can cause permanent injuries after just one use. Typically, the chemical compound is mixed with other chemicals, sprayed on tree leaves, packaged and sold. The drug has also been seized in other Southeastern states and Colorado. The DEA is still reviewing additional substances, including AB-Pinaca for classification.
Defendants in this synthetic drug case could face severe penalties if they are convicted. The suspects were charged under state law with possession of drugs and trafficking. No federal charges have been filed because the drug is not yet considered a controlled substance under federal law. According to reports, the defendants have been additionally charged with marijuana possession and possession of “salvia,” a better-known synthetic drug. Authorities have reported that the defendants are being held on $150,000 bond.
In the event of a drug charge, any defendant should consult immediately with an experienced attorney. The facts of your case should be reviewed and questioned by a drug defense attorney. Evidence can be suppressed if it was illegally obtained and law enforcement officials should use lab tests to prove that the evidence seized was in fact, a controlled substance.