Moscow police have detained a former chemistry student who is accused of inventing a new synthetic drug and distributing it, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.
"Agents received information that a young man was distributing narcotics in the form of tablets for 200 rubles ($4) per tablet. During the course of the operation, a 22-year-old resident of the district of Vykhino-Zhulebino was detained," a spokesperson from the Federal Drug Control Service was cited as saying in the report.
The spokesperson also said the substance confiscated from the suspect was found to be a new kind of synthetic drug.
The suspect said he purchased ordinary medications from pharmacies and then altered them to create a narcotic for distribution, according to the report. He had previously been enrolled in the chemistry department of a Moscow university.
The news comes as authorities throughout the country struggle to stop the rise of synthetic drugs, some of which have caused mass poisonings and deaths in recent weeks.
A new kind of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as "spice," was blamed for about 30 deaths and dozens of hospitalizations throughout the country in October.