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Convenience store owner, employees arrested in connection with synthetic marijuana

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Charges are pending against the owner of Pumpkin Center Store after authorities found what they believe to be synthetic marijuana at the business and at her home.

About 10 p.m. Thursday, Colum­bia County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators searched the Harlem-area store at 1313 Appling-Harlem Highway, according to sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris. The owner and two employees were detained inside.

Investigators found 292 packets of what they believe is synthetic marijuana behind the front counter and in the back office, Morris said. The packets will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta for analysis and confirmation.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or Spice, is a psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, allegedly mimic the effects of cannabis.

The owner told investigators she had more synthetic marijuana at her Evans home, where they found an additional 853 packets.

Authorities seized all the material believed to be synthetic marijuana, which had a street value of $21,050, according to Morris.

Charges are pending against the owner.

The search and seizure are the second in two weeks at a convenience store. On June 21, Atul Patel, 49, the owner of Lewiston Express at 107 Lewiston Road, and his son Kinjalkumar Patel, 26, were charged with possession of a Schedule I drug with intent to distribute. At least 30 of the more than 400 packages seized from that store were confirmed to be synthetic marijuana. The rest was sent to the GBI Crime Lab for analysis.

The searches, Morris said, resulted from investigating complaints.

“(It is) one part of our drug enforcement efforts,” Morris said. “But synthetic marijuana is a growing problem.”

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mycomments
318
Points
mycomments 07/06/12 - 01:37 pm
5
0
It's not a growing problem,

It's not a growing problem, it has already grown into a huge problem. I believe it is way more of a problem with our youth than alcohol. I know over a year ago, it was very prevelant at Evans High School, especially before school in the dirt lot across the street. Alcohol gets more press, but believe me, spice is used more than alcohol. Finally they're getting to the root of the problem, sales. If it wasn't making so much money, they would not be selling it. And minors can purchase it, where they cannot purchase the alcohol. You only have to be 18 to purchase smoke products; 21 to purchase alcohol. Think about it.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 07/06/12 - 02:48 pm
4
0
Why are there NEVER any major

Why are there NEVER any major drug busts in Augusta (RC)? I always see Aiken and surrounding counties but NEVER Augusta which is much bigger than the others. What's really the deal with that?

MIKEinAUG
5
Points
MIKEinAUG 07/06/12 - 02:57 pm
3
0
Is anyone really shocked?

When I went to HHS I would stop in PC every now and then. They would always have glass pipes among other things. Everyone knows those little roses in the glass "vase" are used for crack pipes.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 07/06/12 - 03:04 pm
3
0
Patty-P this type of drug is

Patty-P this type of drug is not one that cops in Augusta have high on there priority list. Its like the legal forms of crystal meth, bath salts , and prescription meds. Surrounding area cops understand that people find new ways to get high and the dealers don't have gold teeth dreadlocks.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/06/12 - 03:21 pm
3
0
PattyP, Drug bust go on in RC

PattyP, Drug bust go on in RC almost on a daily bases. You don't hear about it because it's no longer news. When it happens in surrounding counties its big news because it only occurs every few months.

happychimer
15807
Points
happychimer 07/06/12 - 03:23 pm
3
0
Who is the owner of the

Who is the owner of the Pumpkin Center? Her name is not there.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 07/06/12 - 04:10 pm
4
0
HighSociety and double_standard...

I know for a FACT that there aren't any significant drug busts because the SAME dealers in the SAME areas are still dealing. You must be talking about the usual 'select' areas of Augusta but certainly not South Augusta.

seenitB4
81131
Points
seenitB4 07/06/12 - 04:33 pm
2
1
Not Pumkin Center

Say it ain't so.....now yall see why they need a round a bout there.....around & round they go....:)

Patty that is a legit question....I thought the same thing when reading this......maybe too many running for Sheriff......cause we dang sure know they need drug busts there.

Bobbie 920
5861
Points
Bobbie 920 07/06/12 - 07:13 pm
3
0
Need more

We really do need more drug busts in Augusta. It seems they do 1 or 2 BIG busts a year, it makes big news! One question I have is why are the known "drug houes" still there, and still doing business? It seems more could be done!!

jmo
14318
Points
jmo 07/06/12 - 09:39 pm
1
1
Why care?

They're going to get it one place or the other. Legalize it and tax it. You're not going to stop it.

itsanotherday1
40059
Points
itsanotherday1 07/06/12 - 11:05 pm
0
1
Go after the users. No

Go after the users. No demand, no sales.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 07/06/12 - 11:58 pm
1
0
itsanotherday1 assumes this

itsanotherday1 assumes this is a zero-sum problem. legalize the real deal and see synthetics blow away like so much smoke

KSL
121050
Points
KSL 07/07/12 - 04:09 am
0
0
PattyP, I think they are

PattyP, I think they are bigger on guns. Now is that because drug busts go on daily? ie, pretty routine?

KSL
121050
Points
KSL 07/07/12 - 04:47 am
0
0
But that is the problem

But that is the problem omnom. Someone can drink themselves into a stupor. My risk is their driving a car or otherwise doing something they are incapable of doing in their incapacitated state. Now lets take second hand smoke. Both I and my spouse grew up around second hand cigarette smoke. Don't have a single problem. And though I attended college in the second half of the 60's and in the northeast and then the south, I somehow managed to not be around that product. Some of the younger guys in my husband's frat would come in with some, but they were told to take it elsewhere. My first and only high came from attending a concert at USC as a mother of a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Sitting 3 rows down from the top of the Carolina Colliseum, we could not help but inhale the second hand smoke. Oh no smoking allowed. So much for that.

blakablaka8586
4
Points
blakablaka8586 07/07/12 - 06:20 pm
1
0
Good People

Some people do have medical problems that marijuana can help. When you live in a state that won't even let a patient get Marinol to help with appetite, vomiting, etc...then of course, people are going to look for alternatives. I am one of those people. Yes I used to frequent the PC. Then you have others that have good jobs that can't risk smoking marijuana. They are still good people too. The herbs she was selling were just discontinued on 6/16/12 thanks to the government and there are other forms already available online.If I was her I would have sold out of what I had left as well and made my money back. Georgia should do like California then we wouldn't be having this problem. Maybe the police should focus a little harder on the huge meth problem around here. Thousands of dollars are spent on tax payers money every year in this state for people being locked up for herb. Legalize the real and then you won't have all the alternatives popping up. Hell alcohol is legal and causes way more problems than some herbs, but you don't see the government doing much about that because they like that tax money made from the sells.

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