New York police seized two million packets of the synthetic drug K2, worth about $10 million, late Wednesday.
During a raid, police found the drugs stuffed into laundry bags in a Bronx home. It was the latest in a string of more than 80 K2 busts throughout the city in the past week. No one was arrested in Wednesday's raid, police told NBC4 New York. But the recent crackdown has resulted in 10 federal indictments of alleged distributors.
Major K2 search underway in the Bronx. Up to 2 million packets found, worth as much as $10 million — NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews)September 24, 2015
K2, also known as "spice," is synthetic marijuana that has surged in popularity in New York and across the country. It's widely available in corner markets throughout the city, especially in Harlem and the Bronx, and can be purchased for as little as $5 per packet.
New York City officials have called the spread of K2 an "epidemic" and in recent months have attempted to crack down on its sale. NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton said last month that K2 makes people "totally crazy, superhuman strength, impervious to pain," according to CBS2.
Synthetic marijuana is not new, but it became a priority for city officials after 120 people were hospitalized in April after smoking it. This year, there have been more than 4,500 emergency department visits from people who consumed K2, with more than 1,200 occurring in July alone, according to the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio, along with the NYPD and local government, launched a campaign last week to target the sale and consumption of K2.
Stores caught selling K2 in New York, where it's classified as a public-health violation, face a fine of $250. A bill proposed by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last month seeks to make selling K2 a criminal offense punishable by a year in prison.
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