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Aurora Police Break Up Major Spice Operation

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Two people are in custody so far after Aurora police broke up a major “spice” operation on Friday.

Thousands of packages of the synthetic drug have also been confiscated.

Authorities say that Dowinder Bopari, 54, and Seble Gebreegziadhair, 28, are facing numerous drug charges. Aurora police said they confiscated at least 12,000 packets of spice from the pair.

Gebreegziadhair was arrested at her Aurora apartment and the Bopari was arrested at a Centennial home. Neighbors said in the last few weeks several large boxes were delivered there.

Police say after the arrests they discovered large quantities of the drug in Aurora storage facilities and they realized they were dealing with a case of possible distribution.

“There’s a lot of follow up to do, to include finding out where this may have been headed, who’s selling it,” said Officer Frank Fania.

The spice is labeled with a picture of the Joker and the packaging actually says it is legal in 50 states. Police say that is not the case and it’s considered to be a psychoactive designer drug.

“It can be up to 800 times stronger than marijuana,” said Fania.

The drug has been linked to at least one death in Aurora after a 15-year-old overdosed last summer.

“Just the strength of it is just incredibly dangerous and you never know exactly what you’re getting,” said Fania.

Police said they saw the largest increase in use last year but say this year could be even worse.

“When you see this, it makes you wonder, is it starting up again, are they finding different ways to sell it and distribute it? It’s still a huge problem,” said Fania.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and that the drug is often sold in convenience stores, so they want to track down where the drug was headed next.

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