MPD Seizes 116 kilos of synthetic drugs with an estimated street value of $2.3 million

synthetic drugs seizure via MPD

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department’s Narcotics and Special Investigations Division announced today the arrests of two individuals in connection with the interception of a 500 package that contained 116 kilos of synthetic drugs. The seized packages contained more than 19,000 packets of “Bizarro” drugs, its contents containing XLR-11, a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, which is the largest single seizure of synthetic drugs in the District – with an estimated street value of $2.3 million.

At approximately 12:52 pm, on September 1, 2015, MPD detectives with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and Drug Enforcement Administration special agents arrested 33-year-old Siraj Issa, of Northwest, DC and 41-year-old Yenework Abera, of Alexandria, VA, in Northwest, DC. They have been charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Synthetic Cannabinoids.

“As I have said, we must intercept illegal drugs at the source. The seizure of such a large amount of synthetic drugs is a relief to both the MPD and the community,” said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “The hard investigative work that our members pride themselves on has potentially saved countless lives and helped to stem the violence that goes hand in hand with the selling and consumption of illegal drugs.”

Chief Lanier also commended law enforcement partners including members of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Maryland State Police in this case. The investigation is ongoing.

“Synthetic drugs pose a serious public health and safety issue to our communities,” said Clark Settles, Special Agent in Charge for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Washington, DC office. “This operation’s success is a testament to the excellent working relationship between our agencies and sends a clear message to anyone involved in illicit drug trade that we are united in our efforts to disrupt and dismantle their operations.”

“Through this extraordinary coordination between DEA, HSI, and MPD, nearly 300 pounds of this lethal drug will never touch the streets of DC,” said Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Field Division. “Ruthless drug dealers are marketing these drugs as a harmless substance. Make no mistake, synthetic cannabinoids are a poison. DEA stands strong with our partners in combating synthetics, and will use all of our resources to bring traffickers of this drug to justice.”

22 Comment

  • Dope on the table!

  • brookland_rez

    Good. This helps restore my confidence in MPD to get the crime issue under control.

    • +1. A legit bust. Renews my faith as well. Tired of community meetings and lip service from politicians. This is the stuff I want to see. Hope this is only the beginning.

  • Very happy to hear about this bust and the interagency cooperation it involved. Our block has had incidents of people smoking Bizarro in our alley. I know this because I’ve picked up the empty packets. If the contents include DEA schedule I substances, shouldn’t MPD be able to arrest individuals for sales/possession? MPD leadership and our elected officials have said that they can’t arrest/cite people for smoking this stuff in public. I don’t understand, they can only arrest those distributing it in large quantities, when they have an investigation to test the product? Could shop owners who distribute DEA schedule I substances also be prosecuted? Ahem, Riyad.

  • I wish they would mention which ward this was seized in.

  • This is encouraging news, but I think we need to do a better job of preventing the chicoms from sending us this poison.

  • Nice job! Glad to hear some success.

  • Props to the Cops, but WTF, if they can arrest those assholes, why can’t they arrest the 10-15 assholes that get super high every morning on this shit just north of 8th and Pennsylvania SE—- RIGHT NEXT TO A KIDDIE PLAYGROUND!!!! I mean, who cares if the stuff itself isn’t illegal—arrest them for being intoxicated in public, not for possession. Alcohol is legal, but if you’re shitfaced in public, it is against the law and you can be put in jail for 90 days.(DC Official Code § 25-1001.) (DC Official Code § 24-604.) Hasn’t MPD said this shit makes you bat shit violent?? IF SO, ENFORCE THE LAW!!!

    I’d rather my tax dollars go to cleaning up these assholes than, say, targeting prostitutes if this shit is really leading to violent crime.


    • justinbc

      Unfortunately for you the MPD budget isn’t set by whatever specific crime you want enforced / cleaned up. They have to answer to all constituents, and for some people prostitution in their neighborhood can be a real problem. (nevermind that each ward dictates how its own patrols and divisions operate)

  • Why isn’t the Chinese government doing more to shut down the laboratories where this poison is made?

    • Same reason they’re blatantly hacking the US?

    • LOL!!! Because the factories employ people, that’s why. I can’t imagine there’s a single person in the chinese government who gives a sh!t about our drug policy or problems.

      • True, and I’d go even farther than that. China would be happy about anything that causes problems for the US. Unless it hits their bottom line (i.e., sales of cheap junk).

  • This is nothing. I’m not sure where the 2.3M number comes from but I’m sure it’s worth far less then that and easily replaceable.
    This stuff is available off the internet from China for under 0.01$ a bag. Anyone can order it:
    It’s insane and terrifying and I think very few people realize how easy or cheap it is to order in bulk, or how completely unknown the contents can be. This is not synthetic marijuana. It is a constantly changing mixture of psychoactive drugs whose effects are essentially completely unknown.
    This is not the root of DC’s problems, but we do need aggressive and continuous policing to prevent it from getting worse. .
    And shame on the Chinese government for allowing it’s factories to continue producing this poison. We need national action as well to put pressure on the Chinese government to shut this down.

    • I now see the press release which says they got 19000 packets. At the prices linked above that’s 190 plus shipping. There is no way this is over 1000 dollars in drugs. 2.3M is completely disingenuous. So frustrating to see mpd leaders lying to the public like this.

      • huh? Street value – what it can sell for… Also 2.3M/19K = about $100 per package
        With 116 kilos total / 19K = 6 grams per package.

        I have no idea whether that is street value for this poison, but it doesn’t sound like blatant lies.

      • You don’t seem to know what “street value” is.

  • We can arrest individuals in possession of synthetic marijuana. I personally have arrested many. The charge is UCSA Possession Other.
    Issue is, is that the U.S. Attorneys office will no paper it, I.e not prosecute and the person will be let go with no charges filed.
    Mind you these are only mere possession arrests, so I understand to a degree why the USAO, doesn’t want to waste time and money on these cases.
    But at a time where this stuff is killing kids brain cells and creating environments of open drug markets, and zombie adults, I only wish they would atleast fine them a good amount, so atleast they second guess themselves when they think about doing it again.

    • Thanks for your perspective. Does USAttny need more money to do it’s job? More pressure? More of anything? I’ve served on Grand Jury and I know there are quality folks working investigations from police to US Attny, but it seems like the system is just not enough for the level of crime in DC. I’m all for not over-prosecuting non-violent crimes, but your suggestion of a fine seems fair in light of the fact that people are messing with drugs that can make you very violent, depending on how that batch is cooked up. Any idea why there is not a fine implemented already?

  • Crime rates should start dropping any second now…

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