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DEA: Synthetic drug operation seized in Arizona

PHOENIX -- Authorities say more than 20,000 units and 50 pounds of the synthetic drug known as Spice or K2 has been seized in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

It was the second statewide synthetic drug investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Also seized was more than $385,000, five vehicles and multiple firearms after authorities executed a dozen search warrants Monday.

Authorities have been investigating the manufacturing and distribution operation of dangerous cannabinoids since April 2012.

The synthetic compound activates some of the same receptors in the body stimulated by cannabis.

The warrants were served at locations including a manufacturing warehouse, five retail outlets and multiple homes in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The Phoenix, Scottsdale and Gilbert police departments and their SWAT units assisted in the investigation with the DEA.

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