DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver seized 12 pounds of synthetic marijuana from a convenience store near East High School.
Officers received a complaint that Sun Mart at 2405 E. Colfax was selling the synthetic marijuana known as “Spice.” The store is located near East High School.
After a month-long investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for Sun Mart. They believed the business was involved in selling Spice to the public, including students who attend East High School.
Students said it’s not uncommon to see people smoking near the Sun Mart.
“I see people smoking. It’s like if you walk somewhere you’re going to see it,” said one student.
“The smoke coming out of their mouth with blunts on their fingers,” said another student.
Officers conducted the search on Wednesday and seized 6,400 grams, or 12 pounds, of Spice. They also seized $36,216.50 which they believe is directly derived from the illegal sale of synthetic cannabinoids.
In addition to seizing Spice and the money, Vice Narcotics personnel documented and photographed items of suspected drug paraphernalia, including digital scales, rolling papers and hundreds of glass pipes which are used on the street to smoke marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
“We just want to let it be known that the Denver Police Department doesn’t tolerate this,” said Denver Police Lt. Aaron Sanchez.
The store owner and manager, Maher Awad, and store cler, Abedeliah Dehry, were arrested for distribution and sale of synthetic cannabinoids.
When CBS4’s Evrod Cassimy asked if he was selling Spice, Abdeliah replied, “It’s Spice, yes.”
But he denied selling it to high school students, “Never. They’re lying!”
He also said he thought selling Spice was still legal.
Last year, Colorado lawmakers passed a bill to ban chemicals used to produce synthetic marijuana, often called Spice or K2.
“Ignorance, obviously, is not an affirmative defense,” said Sanchez. “Our job isn’t to educate. It’s basically to enforce the law.”