Convenience store owners deny selling drugs to children
The owners of a downtown Oshawa convenience store flatly deny police accusations that they sold drugs to children, after being charged with possession of cannabis and controlled drugs.
"I honestly don't understand why the police are accusing us of selling drugs to children. The allegation is illegal possession of drugs," the owner of JS Mart on Ritson Road told the National Post yesterday.
"I don't know where they are coming up with the selling part," said the woman, who declined to give her name.
Durham Regional Police say they were alerted by staff from a nearby public school of allegations that a local convenience store was selling cigarettes to children, some as young as 10 and 12 years old. On Thursday afternoon, Ministry of Revenue tobacco enforcement officers called police after a compliance investigation at the store where they allegedly discovered illicit drugs. Upon arrival, police say they found a candy bucket containing "individual packets of street drugs" including oxycodone and Percocet tablets, as well as Dilaudid pills and marijuana.
While the owners of the store, a 39-year-old woman and her 41-year-old husband, were arrested and charged with drug possession, a press release issued by police yesterday alleged the owners were "busted for selling drugs to children."
However, the couple -- who have operated the convenience store for five years -- were not charged with drug trafficking.
"The allegation is that they were selling cigarettes cheaply to young people and in the store we located individual packets of street drugs, so the allegation is that they might have been for sale as well," said Durham Regional Police spokesman Dave Selby.
"That's not true at all," said the owner, a mother of three children aged 5, 8 and 11.
When asked about the alleged discovery of drugs, she said there was some "medicine" in the back of the store, the names of which she had "no idea."
"If it's a drug squad, they should know that it was medicine," she said. "The last person I would think would do this is the police."
She said there was a 26-gram bag of marijuana in the store that was given to her husband by a friend, but "he never tried it."
The couple also deny being held for bail hearings, as stated in the news release. The owner said she and her husband were released on Thursday on their own recognizance and reopened the store later that night.
"We have three kids and we work hard," she said. "All of a sudden, the police are coming out with these false allegations. We're totally ruined. That's how I feel."
Police say the investigation is ongoing and are offering rewards of up to $2,000 for tips related to the case.
Oct 17, 2009
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