The owner and an employee of a Lincoln smoke shop are in jail Friday after narcotics investigators discovered nearly 1,200 canisters of suspected K2 and thousands of pieces of paraphernalia inside.
Members of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on Dirt Cheap, 2705 Randolph St., late Friday morning, seizing 1,192 canisters of suspected K2, a synthetic cannabinoid banned by the Legislature in 2011.
Capt. Chris Peterson, head of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force, said the drug was being sold over the counter.
Also seized were 1,807 pipes, 1,101 packages of rolling papers, 362 scales and 249 grinders -- paraphernalia police say the business sold knowing it would be used with K2.
The owner, Allen E. Peithman, 33, was jailed on suspicion of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a playground, and possession with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia within 1,000 feet of a playground.
Employee Amber R. Bertschinger, 21, was jailed on suspicion of delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a playground and delivery of drug paraphernalia within 1,000 feet of a playground.
The business is catty-corner from American Legion Park.
The search warrant was obtained after a compliance check at Dirt Cheap, which was "the only location with noted violations," according to Lincoln Police Officer Katie Flood.
Peterson said he's continued to see citations for K2 possession and receive complaints about K2 since the Legislature banned it.
"That was kind of the impetus for these compliance checks," he said. "This is the first project we've been involved with since (K2) was banned."
July 13, 2012 6:20 pm • By MICHAEL BAMESBERGER / Lincoln Journal Star
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