- Article by: JAMES WALSH , Star Tribune
- Updated: November 21, 2011 - 2:53 PMThe government didn't see this coming. Now the DEA is scrambling to play catch-up.DULLES, VA. - Day after day, inside a tightly guarded federal lab, chemist Arthur Berrier probes packages of dangerous new synthetic drugs in search of secrets he can share with criminal investigators before the substances kill or seriously harm someone else.
It's a constant game of catch-up. As soon as he tips off law enforcement officials to the kinds of chemical compounds turning up in the drugs, another form of them emerges.
Manufacturers of the drugs can choose from an almost endless menu of chemicals that they can concoct, putting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at a disadvantage as it tries to help states crack down.
"They're keeping ahead of us," Berrier said.