BIRMINGHAM, AL – A joint effort by US Postal Inspectors and agents from Alabama ABC Drug Task Force brought down a $4 Million per year synthetic marijuana business near the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) last week after a 15 month investigation.
The agencies had been observing a company called Ninja Foot, LLC receiving orders for “Bob’s Buds” brand of Spice over the internet via a website, manufacture the drug in bathtubs, and then ship it out to people in 46 states using the US Postal Service. They had been doing all of this out of a tiny apartment near the schools campus.
Seth Batten, 29, was arrested in the bust but another man, 28-year old Robert Pressler, was in Las Vegas during the operation. The authorities are hoping that Batten, the “second in charge”, will assist them in getting the other man to Birmingham to face questioning.
Police say they have seized Pressler’s bank accounts which are said to be “worth millions”.
The items seized in the raid of the apartment included a lap top computer which had over 1900 orders pending in the Yahoo email box, $300,000 in money orders and $2 million worth of research chemicals and other herbal incense ingredients. Various hand guns, rifles and shotguns were seized during the search, as well.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, this is probably a 10 for the magnitude of what he was doing and the potential of a $4 million a year distribution operation, it was a very big bust for ABC and the U.S. Postal Service,” said Captain Hal Taylor with the Alabama ABC Drug Task Force.