Local spice raid turns up $13,000 worth of synthetic marijuana - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Local spice raid turns up $13,000 worth of synthetic marijuana

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A raid of local convenience stores uncovers thousands of dollars in dangerous, illegal drugs. Two workers were arrested during the spice, or synthetic marijuana, bust in Caroline County. Spice is a substance linked to injury and death. It was banned in 2011.

Detectives say they received tips from people in the community. This led to a six month, undercover investigation. Caroline County detectives, along with the Tri-County Narcotics Task Force and Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Enforcement Officers, raided the Port Royal Supermarket, and Corbin Mart, in early April. Officers confiscated nearly $13,000 worth of spice.

Port Royal Supermarket owner Pirt Kang, 53, and Ip Kim, 58, an employee at the Corbin Mart, each face three counts of selling drugs. That's a felony charge.

Both stores are surrounded by homes, particularly the Port Royal Supermarket. The store sits right next to a mobile home community, where children are often playing until dusk.

"I'm glad that this is happening, because we do have kids here… So we don't want kids to grow up in that type of neighborhood," said mom Claudia Villa.

Nicole Harry, another mother in the neighborhood, says one of her neighbors passed out, after she says he got high off spice. Harry says he burned his foot.

"He was next to a kerosene heater and his foot caught to it," described Harry.

Unfortunately, synthetic marijuana is still popular and risky, even though it's been banned.

"Spice can cause fever, even death," says Major Scott Moser of the Caroline County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives say spice is often marketed as incense, even though it's clearly used to smoke. The synthetic drug wasn't displayed on store shelves in Caroline County. However, those who use it, managed to find where it's sold.

"Based on our information from the sources, (customers buying spice) would wait until the citizens had left the store, and then they would use code names to get the spice from behind the counter," continued Major Moser.

Detectives tell me since spice was outlawed, they have seen a drop in its distribution. However, officers still routinely check stores to make sure spice is not slipping through the cracks.

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