New tools helping law enforcement beat Chinese “designer synthetic drugs”

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — New synthetic drugs which are illegally being transported into the U.S. pose a problem to law enforcement officers, but new technology is helping officers out.

A new tool is allowing agents to disseminate what the drugs are composed of, so agents can tell what drugs they’ve seized on the spot.

“It’s a tru-narc device that allows our agents to test the substance very quickly and very safely,” Vincent Salvatore, Homeland Security Investigations assistant special agent in charge, said. “It serves as a presumptive field test using this device so we can take immediate action.”

Drug exporters are constantly changing the compositions of their drugs, which can be extremely dangerous.

“The effects of these drugs are very unpredictable because frankly, it’s substances where they don’t know what’s within the substance they’re taking,” Salvatore said.

Salvatore admits they’re behind the curve in attempting to keep up with the drug trends, but says they’re working to combat smugglers and protect every citizen, including the teens which the drugs can be packaged to target.

“The message we want to get out there is if you’re using this stuff, please stop, because you could potentially be using something that could make you seriously ill or even kill you.”

Agents are working to train police workers at night clubs and bars to be on alert and to help guard against overdoses from the synthetic drugs. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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