Gas Station Owner Charged With Selling Synthetic Marijuana
Search warrants detail the chain of events that led to the arrest. The synthetic marijuana "Spice" was outlawed in Virginia in 2011.
The owner of the Sunoco gas station at 211 Jefferson Davis Hwy. was arrested last month for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana that Virginia outlawed in 2011.
Fredericksburg detectives served a search warrant at 3 p.m. on July 24 and recovered what they believed to be synthetic cannabinoids or “Spice” from under the counter and in the office. The search warrant affidavit reveals how a parent and a couple of anonymous callers brought the alleged sales to the attention of the police department.
Hong Kim, 45, of Stafford County, was arrested for felony possession/distribution of synthetic cannabinoids. Virginia State Police assisted the detectives with the search. Kim has a preliminary hearing on the felony charge scheduled on Sept. 20 in Fredericksburg General District Court.
According to the search warrant filed in Fredericksburg Circuit Court, 416 containers with "leafy material" believed to be "Spice" were confiscated, along with documents, an eight-channel DVR, 54 packets of "bitsogum" and 170 packs of cigarettes.
The search warrant states that on May 16 the police department received a written complaint that the Sunoco station was selling "Spice." The person who filed the complaint told police that his friends were buying it from the store.
A Fredericksburg police sergeant also got a tip from a known marijuana smoker that the Sunoco station was selling "Spice," but the tipster also called it "Zombies." The tipster said the price of one gram was $20 and three grams for $40, according to the warrant.
On July 2, an officer arrested a person for possessing synthetic marijauna called "Zombie Matter" and a smoking device, and the person said he bought the smoking material at the Sunoco gas station.
"They also told me that the 'spice' is not displayed and that salesmen will only sell it to people they know," the detective wrote in the warrant. "They further stated that they always pay cash and the salesman gets it from behind the counter."
Virginia outlawed the substance because there were reports that some users had seizures, hallucinations, vomiting and anxiety, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On July 17, a detective met with a concerned parent who said she had been noticing her adult children "acting funny," so she searched their rooms and found two packets of "Darkness."
"Upon speaking with a third child she was told that 'Darkness' is 'Spice' and that her children are smoking it," the detective wrote in the warrant. The parent searched the room a second time and found a smoking device and text messages on her daughter's phone discussing "Spice" and the different brands.
On this same day, the parent observed her children coming from the area of Sunoco and she searched her children and found $40 in her daughter's sock and a smoking device.
On July 22, the police department received a voicemail from a lieutenant with the Culpeper Street Crimes Unit saying that he arrested someone for possession of synthetic marijuana and that the person arrested said it came from the Fredericksburg Sunoco station.
On July 23, a detective received another caller who admitted to buying "Spice" at the Sunoco. On this same day, the detective went to the Sunoco and noticed many tinted domes hanging from the ceiling and a glass case in the middle of the store that displayed smoking bowls. A day later, detectives and Virginia State Police searched the business.
A parent who contacted Fredericksburg Patch last week said she reported to police that her two children were using the synthetic drug and one of her kids when into a "psychotic rage" while under the influence of it. Her name is not being released to protect the identity of her son who is getting treatment now.
A Washington Post story from January states that chemists found a way to alter the recipe to skirt the legislation. So, this year legislators added more chemicals to the prohibition.
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