Texaco station raid part of national drug operation - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Texaco station raid part of national drug operation

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Source: Greg Long Source: Greg Long
These are some of the synthetic drugs confiscated during the raid. Source: Rusty Payne, DEA spokesman. These are some of the synthetic drugs confiscated during the raid. Source: Rusty Payne, DEA spokesman.
These are some of the synthetic drugs confiscated during the raid. Source: Rusty Payne, DEA spokesman. These are some of the synthetic drugs confiscated during the raid. Source: Rusty Payne, DEA spokesman.
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A raid is underway at the Texaco on 6th Avenue Southwest and Goldwire Street on Wednesday morning. The store is a few blocks from Elmwood Cemetery and Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

Officials have confirmed the operation is a part of a statewide effort called "Operation Red Tide," which is part of a nationwide effort to crack down on synthetic drugs.

The purpose of Operation Red Tide is to target manufacturing and distribution of synthetic drugs from China. Authorities say the drugs are new, popular and tied to terrorism.

"Any time we see a small smoke shop in Alabama sending tens of millions of dollars to Yemen, it gives us a great deal of concern. That's a trend that we're really looking into right now. That terror connection with drug trafficking is clear," Rusty Payne, the DEA spokesman, said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has the store surrounded with crime tape. Federal drug agents are also on scene. Authorities say one person is in custody.

Another raid is going on at a self storage facility in Birmingham near the Texaco. Agents are going through individual storage units.

Payne says Operation Red Tide is the name for the Alabama portion of the nationwide effort "Project Synergy." The DEA website says Project Synergy began in December of 2012 and targets "the upper echelon of dangerous designer synthetic drug trafficking organizations that have operated without regard for the law or public safety."

Governor Robert Bentley's office has announced a press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Operation Red Tide. FOX6 News will carry the press conference live online at www.FoxAlabamaLive.com and on the WBRC News app.

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