DENVER (CBS4) – The two suspects arrested in a large scale “spice“ bust appeared in court on Monday.
Prosecutors believe by catching the two suspects they’ve reduced dangerous risks that could potentially hurt thousands of people who might have illegally bought the drug.
Spice is an illegal synthetic drug that can be deadly.
Prosecutors say by catching Dowinder Boparia, 54, they believe they have one of the major spice dealers in the Front Range.
Spice mimics the effects of marijuana but can be up to 800 times stronger.
Boparia was first arrested for hand-to-hand sales but then a search warrant of a storage unit turned up 12,000 packets of the drug.
“We are talking hundreds of pounds of spice, and this is an extremely, extremely dangerous drug. There have been people that have been hospitalized, people that have died as a result of this drug,” said Arapahoe County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
Also in custody is Seble Gebreegziadhair, who was arrested at her Aurora apartment.
According to the arrest affidavit, her apartment is also linked to a Denver spice case where a man tried to decapitate himself under the influence.
Prosecutors say spice is now linked to more than 250 people being hospitalized and five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with one death confirmed in Arapahoe County.
This large seizure of spice has investigators concerned.
“But 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 Frank Fania from the Aurora Police Department.
Boparia’s bond is set at $175,000 and the judge revoked his passport.
“We feel that by catching him there are thousands of hits, potentially thousands of people on the Front Range that were put at risk,” said Hurlbert.
Boparai will be back in court Thursday while the other suspect will be in court on Wednesday.