Authorities target synthetic drugs in raid

Federal and local authorities raided a storage facility just west of the Strip Wednesday in an ongoing synthetic drug investigation.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers served a warrant in the 3600 block of Highland Drive, with aid from Las Vegas police SWAT and narcotics officers.

Police said they were not targeting the Power Exchange adult sex club, which shares space with the facility.

“As far as I know it (the investigation) has nothing to do with the club,” said Allen Lichtenstein, the club’s attorney.

Other warrants were served around the valley Wednesday, although those locations weren’t immediately known.

Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman with the U.S. attorney’s office, said the warrants were sealed and she could not say what authorities were seeking.

But a law enforcement official said authorities discovered abundant amounts of “Spice,” a mixture of herbs and chemicals that produces a similar effect to marijuana.

Police said Wednesday’s bust could be connected to a similar raid in 2011, when local officers found hundreds of pounds of synthetic marijuana and cocaine at a facility just across the street from Wednesday’s raid.

That facility contained a $30 million manufacturing laboratory, one of the first operations of its size seen in Las Vegas.

Those drugs were being taken into Utah and other states, which is why federal agencies became involved in the investigation.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Follow @blasky on Twitter.