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Federal Drug Raid Turns SJC Street into 'Warzone'

An armored vehicle and gun-toting agents roll into a quiet, gated community in San Juan Capistrano as part of a national crackdown on synthetic drugs.

The scene was like something out of a movie, acccording to residents of the San Juan Capistrano gated community of Rancho Madrina.

rolled onto Carril de Maderas and armed federal agents set up a perimeter.

“At 5:30, they had machine guns pointed at [the suspect's] window for an hour,” said one neighbor, who requested anonymity. “You can’t even imagine. It looked like a warzone.”

The visit to the unnamed Rancho Madrina resident – who neighbors said has lived in the area about nine months – was part of a nationwide crackdown on the synthetic drug industry. The lead agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, dubbed it “Operation Log Jam.”

The agents in San Juan Capistrano were serving a search warrant, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman. ICE, as well as the IRS, U.S. Postal Service and several other federal agencies, worked the investigation.

No arrests were made, the DEA spokeswoman said.

But neighbors said agents did confiscate the home’s cars two Mercedes-Benz sports utility vehicles and a pickup.

“It probably lasted four hours,” said one neighbor. “There were about 75 people here and, after they left, there were undercover cars with maybe 50 people.”

Another neighbor said he counted 21 “unmarked” cars after the SWAT team left.

“It’s mindboggling here,” he said. “It’s a movie, and nobody can figure it out.”

He added that he and others nearby have heard helicopters overhead during the nights since.

The nationwide effort netted more than 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., K2, Spice) and the ingredients to produce nearly 13.6 million more, as well as 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (e.g., bath salts) and the ingredients to produce an additional 392,000, according to the DEA.

It was the first major effort of its kind, the agency said.

Dusty W Otero July 29, 2012 at 04:00 AM
what if they would of knocked and someone came to the door and shot the DHS...you should be happy we dont mess around and want to get these people off the streets...marketing that poison...think...
DENISE DALEY July 31, 2012 at 05:38 PM
WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES MUST NOT ALLOW THE RIGHTS OF OUR SOCIETY TO BE ABRIDGED BY THE MILITARY. OUR REPUBLIC & OUR DEMOCRACY IS BEING ERODED BEFORE OUR EYES. EVERYONE WHO LIVES IN THAT "GATED" NEIGHBORHOOD HAS BEEN ASSAULTED BY THIS SWAT INVASION. THIS IS "OVER~KILL" & AN ABUSE OF HOMELAND SECURITY. BLESS THIS COUNTRY, AND MAY THIS FAMILY BE EXONERATED IF NOT GUILTY. TIME FOR A BIG CHANGE IN ELECTION 2012~
Allison September 03, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I think that the "vitamins" that he was selling were the chemicals commonly known as bath salts, the same stuff that has caused users to eat other people. While these chemicals are not illegal per se, they were confiscated because they are similar in nature to illegal drugs. I think that there will be arrests and prosecutions. That stuff does not need to be made or sold. God blessed the people who won't get their hands on that mess and also the innocent people who might have come in contact with them.
John Snider September 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Allison, what you "think" and what is reality are two very different things. This person was not selling "bath salts" and no supposed drugs were confiscated because there were no drugs to confiscate. There were NO charges filed nor will there be any charges filed. This was an insane abuse of power and the government used their badges and power to rob these people of over $450,000 in assets. Get your facts straight before you make accusations and assumptions. - A Protective Neighbor
Duhhh June 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM
http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1406/140613santaana.htm

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