Police Padlock Three Markets For Synthetic Drug Sales
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Monday afternoon, Metro Police simultaneously raided and shut down three convenience markets after an investigation found their employees allegedly sold synthetic drugs to undercover police operatives.
The markets padlocked included Wings and Gas on Centennial Boulevard, Lulu's Discount Tobacco on Clarksville Pike, and Lucky Corner on Charlotte Pike.
"During September and October, undercover operatives were able to buy colorful packets of synthetic marijuana labeled as 7H, 7H Diablo, Kush and Purple Haze, all products that can cause very serious side effects on the human body," Chief Steve Anderson said in a release. "Our message continues to be that these products have no place whatsoever in Nashville's neighborhoods. The police department, in partnership with the District Attorney's Office, will continue these investigations and seek padlocking orders from the courts where appropriate."
At Wings and Gas, police said a clerk retrieved a packet of 7H from underneath the counter and sold it to an undercover operative on September 20.
A clerk at Lulu's Discount Tobacco allegedly sold a packet of 7H Diablo, which he retrieved from the rear of the store, to an undercover operative on September 20. A clerk also allegedly sold the operative a packet of Kush, which was near the cash register, on October 4. The clerk of Lulu's, Ashraf Massoud
Ibrahim, 49, was charged with possession of a
"Right now they're not good corporate citizens.
They're not abiding by the law. They're endangering the public and they're a
nuisance and the police department will continue to make undercover buys and
close businesses such as this down," said
Metro Nashville Police Chief Anderson.
At Lucky Corner, police said a clerk led the police operative to the beer cooler, where he sold three packets of Purple Haze on September 16. A similar sale occurred on September 30, where the clerk allegedly led a police operative to a storage room where police said he sold three more packets of Purple Haze.
Metro Police raided eleven convenience markets in July for the sale of synthetic marijuana and similar substances.
"These products are made in backrooms by people that
are internet chemists. So certainly not approved by any government agency and,
again, we don't know what the long term effect is going to be for the use of
these products," Anderson said Monday.
At the Wings and Gas Station on Boulevard, Medhanit Terega, 37 and Adib Akbari, 29, were both charged
on misdemeanor citations with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Tennessee legislature passed a law earlier this year making the sale of synthetic marijuana felony. The law, which went into effect May 15, also provides that businesses engaged in the distribution can be padlocked as public nuisances.