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US Crackdown Nets 10 Tons of Synthetic Drugs, 151 Arrests

FILE - Confiscated synthetic drugs are seen on display at DEA offices in Centennial, Colo.

U.S. law enforcement officials say they have arrested 151 people in 16 cities in connection with more than 10 metric tons of assorted synthetic drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, along with other federal, state and local police agencies also seized more than $15 million and 39 weapons in a 15-month nationwide operation.

Officials say they targeted money launderers and major dealers who allegedly sold or facilitated the sale of illegal substances.

Drug designers have created 400 new substances in an effort to get around laws banning certain drugs. Authorities blame these substances for serious illnesses, emergency room visits, overdoses, and some deaths.

A DEA note to journalists says many of the drugs were created in "rogue laboratories" in China while profits from these activities make their way to "countries of concern" in the Middle East.

Some information is from AP.