Hillsborough County Deputies say an operation targeting synthetic marijuana, known as spice, landed dozens of people in jail and netted hundreds of pounds of the drug and materials used to make it.
Sheriff David Gee says the operation started in December where undercover detectives targeted manufactures, retail distributors and street level dealers. He says the operation had an immediate impact on the number of spice related crimes.
"It was a 42 percent decrease. These investigations can work," Gee said, comparing the numbers from early last year to the same time this year.
The investigation led detectives to storage facilities, a motel, homes and convenience stores.
The sheriff's office says they're now working to close down the stores that were selling the drugs.
"We are working with code enforcement and ABT on the administrative side so we are going to leverage as much as we can on these businesses," Major Frank Losat said.
Below is a list of the businesses where the sheriff's office served search warrants:
Mary's Beverage Castle (voluntarily closed subsequent to the search warrant)
- 9401 US Hwy 301 S Gibsonton, FL
Stop & Pick Citgo Gas Station (search warrant)
- 1815 Waters Avenue West, Tampa, FL
Apollo Beach Food Mart (search warrant)
- 6020 US Hwy 41 South, Apollo Beach, FL
The Rex Motel, Units 3 & 4 (search warrant)
- 2939 W Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL
The Highland Pines Market (consent search)
3011 Melburne Boulevard, Tampa, FL
- 3011 Melburne Boulevard, Tampa, FL