Colorado Springs police are searching for a smoke shop owner after more than seven pounds of the synthetic drug spice were seized by detectives on Thursday.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Alexander Kim, the 50-year-old owner of Ki Ki Smoke, 1730 Monterey Drive. The police Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Unit searched Kim's store and a related storage unit Thursday and found 682 packets of Spice that has a street value of more than $65,000, police said. The packets of Spice bore such colorful names as Scooby Snax, Cherry Blast, Atomic and Honeymoon. Each packet was sold for $20 per gram, according to police.
Anyone with information that could help detectives find Kim can call 444-7000 or Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers at 634-7867.
Thursday's seizure of the synthetic drugs in Colorado Springs comes on the heels of an announcement by federal officials of nine indictments in Denver related to a national crackdown on synthetic drugs.
The Associated Press reported the indictments on Wednesday, noting that John Gilbert Bowen of Las Vegas was among those indicted. Bowen is suspected of running a business that distributed synthetic drugs to at least seven states, including Colorado.
According to the report, the Drug Enforcement Administration "broadened its crackdown" and agents served hundreds of warrants Wednesday "at homes, warehouses and smoke shops" in at least 25 states.
In 2010, the DEA banned chemicals used in making drugs such as Spice. The AP report said, however, that makers of the drugs continue to modify formulas in an attempt to dodge prosecution.
In 2013, the DEA and Customs and Border Protection conducted a months-long investigation, making 150 arrests and seizing tons of drugs.