Lebanon police crack down on sale of synthetic drugs - WKRN News 2

Lebanon police crack down on sale of synthetic drugs

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LEBANON, Tenn. -

In May, the Tennessee legislature unanimously passed a law making the sale of synthetic marijuana a felony.

The new law also allows for the padlocking of some businesses which are deemed to be nuisances.

Since the new law went into effect, Lebanon police have been rigorously checking city markets for violations.

The police chief told Nashville's News 2 Investigates many stores in their city have been compliant with the exception of one.

According to police, they have made five undercover purchases from One Stop Market located on East Main Street this year.

Police Chief Scotty Bowen said the most recent occurred on Wednesday.

"They hide it like in this case, they sell clothes in there too, and they hide it in the pockets," Bowen explained.

Bowen showed Nashville's News 2 Investigates 40 packets of synthetic marijuana police reportedly confiscated.

"This store is the one we continuously get complaints on. People come up to us saying, ‘Hey they are selling this stuff out of there,'" Bowen said.

He continued, "It's all about public safety. You have people going in and buying this stuff and don't know what is going to happen after they smoke it. We are going to do whatever we have to do to send the message to get them to stop selling this stop because what will happen unfortunately is someone is going to go in there and buy the stuff and end up dead is what is going to happen."

Nashville's News 2 Investigates stopped by the One Stop Market on Thursday and spoke with business owner Magdi Wahba, who goes by the name Mario.

Wahba denied currently selling the synthetic drug, but did admit to selling it in the past.

"We are not selling this stuff here. We [sold] it before when it was legal," he said, adding, "Police come and [asked] me to stop selling this because it is bad and that it is."

Police said Wahba was not present during Wednesday's police raid.

Wahba added that his business associate was at the store and he had no idea about any illegal contraband.

No one was charged in Wednesday's raid. Police said they are currently testing the chemical components of the seized material.

If the materials meet the criteria set forth under the new state law, Bowen said the city will work toward padlocking the market and charges could be forthcoming.

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