This article was taken from the Toronto star and can be found here: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Co...ageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&t=TS_Home
Mom and pot shop busted: Police
Customers placed order at the counter
2 charged after raid on St. Clair store
Oct. 20, 2006. 05:34 AM
It was called The Blunt Shop. It had a sign on the door warning they didn't sell cigarettes to minors.But police say the owners had no qualms peddling cocaine and marijuana to anyone who walked in off the street.As far as drug operations go, it was about as brazen as they come, said Det. Kurt Diener of 12 Division yesterday. It wasn't lost on police that the owners had picked the name Blunt — slang for a hollowed-out cigarette filled with marijuana.Counter service was brisk at the tiny store, with dozens of people scoring their drugs throughout the day, Diener said. "They had a little table in the back room with all their marijuana and cocaine and ... scales, packaging, so it would just be like going to a store and wanting to buy something. `I'd like to have a dime of weed'... or whatever your amount is, and they'd say `okay fine' and placed your order."Even yesterday, despite being shut down by police, cars continued to pull up in front of the two-storey building on St. Clair Ave. W. near Runnymede Rd.One man driving a Volvo raced off quickly when he found the place closed. The owner of a nearby restaurant said for a little place, it had a steady stream of customers. But he never saw anyone coming out "carrying cigarettes or cigars," said the man who didn't want to be identified. "It was just a matter of time before they got busted."According to neighbours, police swooped down on the store around dinnertime. There was no sign on the building's exterior indicating what type of store it is, but it did have shelves with tobacco products, as well as a fridge with pop and juice. The owner of a nearby bakery was shocked to learn about the arrest, saying the owners were polite when they came in to buy bread. "They were friendly. We didn't know what they sold," said the man, who also didn't want his name used.It was a tip from the public that got police interested. For two weeks, they sat on the Blunt Shop watching customers come and go. "But nobody ever that we saw came out with a pop or a cigarette package in their hand — it was always something else," said Diener. Police estimate there were about 80 drug trades a day. The accused pair began their "business venture" in early 2005 but they had only been at the location a short time. They were operating from another "nearby" location prior to moving to St. Clair Ave. W.There were also complaints from area residents alleging the store owners were providing joints to local high school students. On Wednesday, police swooped down on the store and a Mississauga home.They seized more than two kilograms of cocaine and a large quantity of marijuana. They also found drug scales, debt lists and $35,000, Diener said.Kerry Hill, 37, and Athol Haye, 34, said by police to be the owners of the Blunt Shop, face 10 drug possession and trafficking charges. They appeared in Old City Hall yesterday and were remanded in custody until today.
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