The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has been warning convenience store owners it was serious about cracking down on the sale and use of synthetic drugs.
Deputies proved their point Tuesday, May 14 when they visited three stores with search warrants in hand, making four arrests in the process.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi even came along for the ride to witness one of the busts in person.
Deputies had made undercover purchases of synthetic drugs from the three stores in West Pasco between late January and May. Those purchases enabled them to get search warrants.
Armed with warrants, deputies returned to those three stores Tuesday to conduct searches and make arrests as part of Operation Consequences.
The following stores were searched during Tuesday's operation:
• Super K, 12838 U.S. 19, HudsonBondi came along for the bust at the Mobil on Massachusetts Avenue.
• Mobil, 7011 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey
• Boost Mobile, 3448 Grand Blvd., Holiday
The sheriff’s office warned convenience stores in December that it was going to start enforcing a new Pasco County ordinance prohibiting possession, sale, provision or distribution of synthetic drugs. The ordinance penalizes stores that sell synthetic drugs.
Synthetic drugs have been a cause for a concern in Pasco. Two substances targeted by the ordinance, which is now in effect, are synthetic marijuana, which also goes by such names as Spice and K2; and bath salts, which are meant to mimic cocaine.
In the investigation leading up to Tuesday busts, deputies came across apparent synthetic drug products with labels like Platinum, AK47, Insane, LOL, Bomb Marley, California Dreams and Mad Hatter.
Testing of some products revealed they contained XLR11, a synthetic cannabinoid Bondi banned in an emergency order last year. Bondi has made banning substances used to make synthetic drugs a priority during her time as attorney general.
Gov. Rick Scott also signed last month a law that permanently designated 22 psychoactive substances and four psychoactive compounds as Schedule 1 drugs.
Four people were arrested in Tuesday’s raid. They were charged with sale and possession of controlled substance and violation of Pasco County ordinance on sale of synthetic drugs.
Those arrested are:
• Mohammed Kamaluadin, 39 Hudson Ridge Dr., Apt. 304, Port RicheyBy Alex Tiegen | May 14, 2013
(Raid at Super K)
• Sikander Noorani, 57, 8841 Cameron Crest Drive, Tampa. (Mobil)
• Ahmad Rabei, 19, 3915 Berwick Drive, New Port Richey (Raid at Boost Mobile)
• Noor Jehan Merchant, 58, 8841 Cameron Crest Drive, Tampa, store clerk (Raid at Mobil)
Land O' Lakes Patch
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