News and Press Releases

United States Attorney’s Office of North Dakota Warns of Deadly Synthetic Drugs

June 19, 2012

FARGO - Local and federal law enforcement officials are issuing a caution to citizens of North Dakota and Minnesota regarding the proliferation of and lethality of synthetic drugs, also commonly known as "designer drugs. Recently, a growing number of dangerous products have been introduced into the marketplace, and both North Dakota and Minnesota are not immune from this proliferation. These synthetic drugs are known by multiple different names. Some commonly known names are "bath salts", "K2", "spice", and "herbal incense.

Newly developed drugs, however, are generally referred to as synthetic psychedelics or synthetic hallucinogens. Many of these are from the "2C" family. In Grand Forks County and Polk County, there have been multiple overdoses of such drugs in the past thirty days, in addition to two deaths that may be linked to such synthetic drugs. These drugs have been seized by law enforcement in the area and have been in the form of multi-colored blotter paper and white powder. They have been referred to locally by many different names however the common theme is the hallucinogenic properties of these drugs
and are like “acid.”

On June 19, 2012, an emergency meeting was convened in Grand Forks in which multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies were represented. This group made the decision to notify the public, through this press release, of the presence and the extreme lethality of these synthetic drugs. The agencies at this meeting are concerned that there may be a large quantity of lethal synthetic drugs on the street right now in the North Dakota/Minnesota market, specifically in the Grand Forks County and Polk County area. Citizens, particularly parents, are asked to be ever vigilant for any information about these
drugs, and to immediately contact local law enforcement if they have any knowledge of these synthetic drugs and their proliferation.

Representatives at this emergency meeting included the following agencies; United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota, Grand Forks County States Attorney, Polk County Attorney, Grand Forks Police Department, East Grand Forks Police Department, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, UND Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

Due to ongoing criminal investigations, local law enforcement agencies will not be further commenting on this matter. All questions should be directed to Tim Purdon, United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota.




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