Mobile, Alabama–Police announced today they have seized as much as $9.6 million worth of unfinished synthetic marijuana as part of Mobile's ongoing crackdown on illicit drugs in the city.
"This is extremely significant for our city, for our community," said Mobile Mayor Samuel Jones. "It is extremely significant for our citizens."
Jones called the seizure "one of the most important things we've seen happen as it relates to narcotics busts in the city of Mobile and in the area."
The seizure was the culmination of a two-month long investigation by the Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team and the Mobile Police Department's Narcotics and Vice units.
Police said 706 pounds of finished and unfinished synthetic marijuana was seized as part of four search warrants around Mobile. In addition, police seized $26,620 in cash, 19 weapons and four vehicles. Paraphernalia, including a number of bongs, was seized as well.
Mobile Police Chief Micheal Williams estimated each gram of synthetic marijuana would have fetched between $10 and $30 on the streets, meaning the more than 700 pounds of the substance would have been worth between $3.2 million and $9.6 million.
Three people were arrested and charged with distribution of a controlled substance: David Parker, 26, Christian Ice, 22 and Kyle Purvis, 27. Distribution is a felony.
"These types of drugs will not make it into the hands of our young people," Williams said.
Over the course of the two-month investigation, police also seized 67 other guns. Included in those guns is a number of pistols and rifles.
The largest weapon seized was a .50 caliber Bushmaster BA50 target carbine. The bipod-mounted rifle uses a 10-round clip and, according to information from Bushmaster Firearms, retails for more than $5,500 and requires a federal firearms license to buy.
A number of handguns, including a .50 caliber semiautomatic, were also seized. At least two of the confiscated handguns were decorated with images of the Grim Reaper.
"We said when we first started these investigations that we ... will remove firearms, we will remove drugs off the streets of Mobile," Jones said.
"There's still work to do. There's still some out there and for those of you that have it, we're coming to get it."
Booking records show Parker, Ice and Purvis are still in jail without bail.
By Theresa Seiger, Press-Register
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012, 6:17 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 11:14 AM