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Lexington Dollar Store charged for trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2014)– Investigators with the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) recently assisted Lexington police detectives with the execution of a search warrant at Dollar Store Plus (Deya Inc.), an ABC-licensed premise located at 680 Lima Drive, Suite 170, Lexington. The warrant was served Jan. 16.

Detectives had made two controlled buys of synthetic cannabinoids from the owner and an employee inside the premises in December 2013, and January 2014.

During the search, more synthetic cannabinoids were found on the premises. The owner of Dollar Store Plus, Ahmad AbdulJaber, was present and consented to a search of his residency in Lexington, where a large quantity of synthetic cannabinoids was discovered. The Dollar Store Plus employee, Hassan Thabata, also consented to a search of his house in Lexington. Another large quantity was recovered from this search.

The total amount of synthetic cannabinoids seized was 2,576 packets of various brands, a total weight of 48.6 lbs., with a street value of $440,890. Detectives cited AbdulJaber and Thabata for Trafficking in Synthetic Cannabinoids. ABC will charge Deya Inc. with the administrative violation of KRS 244.120, or Disorderly Premises. If found guilty, the business would face the suspension or revocation of its license by ABC.

Synthetic Cannabinoids are listed as a controlled substance under KRS Chapter 218A. The substance imitates marijuana but is known to cause more hallucinogenic effects on the user.

“The use of these substances is very dangerous, and the ability for ABC to work with local law enforcement to help get these cannabinoids off the street is important,” said ABC Commissioner Fredrick Higdon.

Manufacturers of synthetic cannabinoids apply a chemical combination to plant materials and then market them under the guise of incense, often labeled “not for human consumption.”

“Retailers and street level dealers know that this product is being used by the consumers as an alternative to marijuana,” Higdon said. “The individual packets are labeled with names such as ‘Joker,’ ‘Caution’ and ‘Scooby Snax.’ One of the many dangers of synthetic drugs is that the manufacturer can put any sort of harmful chemicals they want in them. A consumer may never know what exactly it is they are inhaling or ingesting.”