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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
September 19, 2002

Local Arrests Linked to Operation Webslinger

Attorney General John Ashcroft today joined DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson to unveil an unprecedented takedown of Internet-based drug-trafficking operations. Operation Webslinger, a multi-jurisdictional investigation, targeted the illegal internet trafficking of "date rape" drugs such as GHB and its derivatives, GBL and 1,4 Butanediol (1,4 BD).

GHB, GBL, and 1, 4 Butanediol (1,4 BD) are abused to produce euphoria, intoxication, and hallucinogenic states, and for their alleged role as a muscle growth hormone. They are also used as "date rape" drugs, acting as central nervous system depressants. Odorless and colorless, the drugs cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and loss of inhibition, as well as memory impairment--which can make the prosecution of rape cases difficult when victims are given these drugs. Higher doses of these substances will cause unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, coma, and even death.

DEA, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services' Health Authority Task Force (HALT), the Los Angeles Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United Customs Service, and other law enforcement authorities served 23 search warrants in the County of Los Angeles. Operation Webslinger targeted drug trafficking groups that were using the internet for the sale and distribution of the "date rape" drug gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and its derivative list 1 chemicals.

This two-year investigation began as a result of increasing seizures of GBL and 1,4 BD. It represents law enforcement's most significant national operation targeting organizations trafficking in GHB, GBL, and 1,4 BD. Operation Webslinger is also the most significant enforcement effort targeting drug traffickers using the internet to buy and sell dangerous drugs and chemicals.

For additional information, please contact Special Agent Jose Martinez at DEA's Office of Public Affairs at (213) 621-6714.



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