PULASKI, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Giles County businessman, whose store was just shut down for being a “public nuisance” could be facing even more serious charges, according to District Attorney Brent Cooper of the 22nd Judicial District, whose office worked with officers to investigate the case.
On Oct. 26, Giles County deputies shut down the Honeysuckle Market in Pulaski at 715 North First Street.
News 2 obtained video of the moment. It shows deputies inside the store, intercepting Adel Basta inside his own store, informing him that his business is being shut down.
The shutting down of the market, now surrounded by crime tape, comes after months of investigation into the alleged sale of vapes and alcohol to underage buyers.
In August, News 2 showed Giles County undercover video of an underage person buying alcohol and vape products from the market.
Investigator Mike Thomason spearheaded the investigation. “[Basta] went before the Pulaski beer board and they pulled his license for 30 days and fined him $10,000 and he just goes right back to doing his criminal activity,” Thomason said.
According to Thomason, 53-year-old Basta had been receiving shipments of THC vapes from California through the US Mail. He said some products, with 88% THC were kept at his home.
“The cost of these THC vapes from California are $45 apiece. He instructs the clerks to ring these up on the register as newspaper. $45 newspaper. That way it is not taxed. And he is laundering his money on this drug stuff through his business.”
Cooper told News 2 that charges against Basta are forthcoming, pending lab results and finalizing the investigation. Thomason confirmed that federal investigators are also interested in this case.
In a statement to News 2, Cooper wrote, “The illegal sale of vapes and cannabis products have become rampant in this district. Hopefully, this case will serve as notice that law enforcement is not turning a blind eye to it.”