Organized Crime

Professor among those arrested after feds bust drug ring

Federal authorities say they've seized 9.5 tons of drugs and chemicals and indicted 16 people — including a university professor — they say were part of a trafficking ring that manufactured, distributed and sold synthetic drugs in the Houston area.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Tuesday that 14 of those indicted by a Houston federal grand jury have been arrested. Two remain fugitives.

Authorities say the ring would import chemicals, mix them in warehouses with plant material, package it and sell it as "synthetic marijuana" in Houston-area stores.

Magidson says one of those arrested and charged with money-laundering was Omar Al Nasser, a finance professor with the University of Houston-Victoria. A university spokeswoman confirmed Al Nasser's employment. Court records did not list attorneys for Al Nasser or the others arrested.