Area law enforcers are focusing on stores accused of selling synthetic drugs.
Kenner Police just wrapped a month long synthetic marijuana investigation arresting store owner Chang Zhu at the Baby Boy Food Mart.
“Selling only to certain individuals,’ says Sgt. Brian McGregor with the Kenner Police Dept. “It`s a very harmful product. We`re seeing a lot more over doses.”
He says the Kenner investigation began with a tip, “They had a young daughter that overdosed on synthetic marijuana.”
Detectives in St. Bernard Parish busted Chalmette Discount Cigarette owner Kevin Shah, accused of the same crime, “I did not mean to sell contraband in this parish.”
Seized from the back was 1.4 pounds of individually packaged synthetic marijuana bags.
“I am sorry to everyone that I serve every day,” says Shah. “I would never endanger people in the parish on purpose. I spent the night in jail and it was a humiliating and humble experience all at once.”
Shah says additional merchandise and more than $4000 dollars detectives seized is separate, “It was money that I used for my check cashing.”
He says new laws on synthetic marijuana chemicals enables confusion on what businesses can and cannot sell, “I did not mean to sell contraband in this Parish. I wasn`t up to date with the laws and regulations.”
“That`s what makes it so hard,” says Sgt. McGregor in Kenner, speaking in no relation to Shah’s case. “We actually have to send the product off to the lab to see what chemicals are in the product. And if they are dealing synthetic marijuana, they are going to go to jail.”
Back in Chalmette, Shah says he’ll be staying out of jail, “I`d like to let people know that I won`t be doing this again. It`s just my responsibility for looking at the laws more carefully from now on.”
St. Bernard detectives say Shah’s own store surveillance camera system will be used as evidence against him.
He’s also under investigation for selling cigarettes to minors.