Federal agents raid dozens of St. Louis area convenience stores

HAZELWOOD, MO (KPLR) - Dozens of St. Louis metropolitan area stores are being raided right now by federal agents. Several federal agencies are involved with support from local police departments. The law enforcement activity appears to located mostly in north St. Louis County.

Witnesses report questions from police about possible synthetic drug sales and cigarette sales across state lines. Locations include Molly's Markets, 6 Star Liquor and Convenience and Northway Market.

The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued this statement:

“Federal special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with additional federal, state and local law enforcement partners, are conducting a law enforcement operation in and around St. Louis on May 23. As this operation involves an on-going investigation no further details are publicly available at this time.”

This multi-jurisdictional task force is targeting convenience stores, gas stations, cigarette shops, and liquor stores. Agents can be seen pulling merchandise from stores, going through dumpsters and at times confiscating weapons and an ATM.

Authorities said  this was a criminal investigation, not an immigration matter.