State, federal agents crack down on synthetic pot

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

Neighbors of the company, including Rommys Beltran, the dean of the Alternative Youth Academy next door, watched the raid in shock.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Only Channel 2 Action News was there during a synthetic pot raid targeting a local business.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas watched as police carted off boxes of evidence from Nutragenomics Manufacturing on Holcomb Bridge Road in Alpharetta.

Agents said the bust could have a major impact on the sale of synthetic pot and other banned drugs.

Investigators said Wednesday's bust was one of the last places hit before a big announcement of a nationwide crackdown is made Thursday in Washington, D.C.

"This is a major national distributor of the synthetic cannabinoids," said G.B.I.Special Agent Rusty Grant.

GBI and federal authorities hauled out armload after armload of boxes and bags of potential evidence from the business park.

Investigators said Nutragenomics Manufacturing distributes chemicals nationwide designed to make synthetic pot and other now-illegal substances, banned in Georgia earlier this year.

The GBI said agents seized some drugs, but mainly, they took documents.

"We are looking for evidence of longtime distribution, what they are receiving, what they are distributing, what type of substances they are receiving and repacking for distribution," Grant said.

Thomas watched as agents packed one car full of seized items. It's part of a nationwide sweep of similar businesses.

A federal source told Thomas multiple sites in Georgia have been quietly raided in recent weeks.

"We believe this is a conspiracy amongst numerous people in the Atlanta area to distribute the synthetic cannabinoids across the country," Grant said.

Neighbors of the company, including Rommys Beltran, the dean of the Alternative Youth Academy next door, watched the raid in shock.

"We've had a lot of issues with synthetic marijuana and we never thought we had it so close," Beltran said.

Thomas tried asking the Nutragenomics employee on site for comment about the raid, but he declined and locked the door.

"It will set the industry back some," Grant said.

"We are still processing it," said StuartMones, an attorney for the company. "The only thing to keep in mind is it was a warrant. No one is placed into custody."

The Washington announcement is slated for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.