Exclusive look inside San Antonio fake pot lab
KSAT goes inside lab raided by DEA, details international operation
A Northeast Side warehouse filled with chemicals and equipment for making synthetic marijuana was raided Wednesday, and Friday, KSAT cameras got an inside look at what they left behind.
The raid was part of a city-wide crackdown on an alleged international drug syndicate, operated primarily by two men here in San Antonio.
Muhammad Jaffer Ali and Ashekul Mowla were arrested on federal drug charges, along with 11 others. Six other suspects remain at-large.
The lab was the group’s hub for making thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics, according to a complaint filed in federal district court.
Box after box of supplies, many with shipping label from Hong Kong, littered the floor of the warehouse. The chemicals that used to be in those boxes were combined together in portable cement mixers.
The finished product was packaged in baggies under brand names popular at local convenience stores. Many of those baggies still sat unused in boxes inside the warehouse.
Federal officials said the supplies were part of an international distribution network. Jaffer Ali and Mowla would get their supplies through a broker in Kentucky, who would ship his supplies around the U.S.
The lab pumped out the product, and a distribution network of their own sent the syndicate’s products to cities like Oklahoma City, Laredo, and Houston.
The group made large amounts of profits, money that would be laundered in a series of convenience shops the pair owned throughout the city.
The complaint also alleged that Mowla would ship some of the money back to his home country of Bangladesh.
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