DEA: More than $30M in 'spice' drug money sent to Yemen - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DEA: More than $30M in 'spice' drug money sent to Yemen

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A DEA spokesperson says up to $40 million of synthetic drug, or "spice," money was sent to Yemen, sparking suspicions of a terrorist connection.

Rusty Payne with the DEA says they aren't 100 percent sure that the money is going to a terror group but says it's a red flag when so much money is sent overseas.

"As far as I know, it's been a clean store," Randy Shunnarah said.

Randy Shunnarah says he was leasing his Texaco Gas Station to someone, but he's taken over because of Wednesday's DEA raid.

And he's defending the store. Shunnarah showed FOX6 News inventory paperwork from the raid.

"I have no clue about it. All I've seen is the paperwork left here at the store and on this list they have there's nothing on here that says synthetic drugs," Shunnarah said.

But DEA agents raided the business and several other locations in the Birmingham area, seizing synthetic drugs and cash.

Payne says agents are growing more suspicious about the connection of the drug profits to terror groups overseas.

"We know of a group in particular in Alabama, in the Birmingham area with Yemeni connection that has sent a significant amount of money to Yemen," Payne said.

Payne says agents believe one of the locations wired $30 million to $40 million in drug profits to Yemen.

He says it shows how drug trafficking is a national security issue and he says it's alarming that drug money from Alabama may play a role in it.

"It's not just the fact that these substances are dangerous and harmful, it's the potential impact. What are we funding? What are we fueling and facilitating through drug abuse and addiction overseas? These are people who hate us, want to kill us. They're benefiting from it," Payne said.

He says DEA agents are working to confirm the terror group connection.

From there he says agents overseas will work to follow the money trail, find the groups and try to shut them down.

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