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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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Lisa Kostmayer Whitesell August 06, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Thank you for putting this story out there! Parents need to be aware of this stuff. It is bad news!
Malcolm Kyle August 07, 2012 at 11:00 AM
In addition to the many societal costs of prohibition, it has a long history of driving the spread of harder or more dangerous drugs. Marijuana to dangerous synthetic concoctions - such as spice or bath salts. Poppies to morphine, to heroine, to krokodil. Coca to cocaine, to crack, to Paco/Kete/Bazuco/Pitillo. Ephedra to ephedrine, to speed, to methamphetamine. Mushrooms to ecstasy (MDMA), to PMMA, to 2CB/designers. At every step the reasons for the rise in popularity of the new form of the drug are one or more of the following: * It may be easier to smuggle. * It may be more addictive, thus compelling the buyer to return more frequently. * It may be cheaper to produce, therefore yielding more profit. * Like a game of "whack a mole" a shutdown of producers in one area will mean business opportunities for another set of producers with a similar product. Prohibition's distortion of the immutable laws of 'supply and demand' subsidizes organized crime, foreign terrorists, corrupt cops, and unconscionable politicians, while feeding the prejudices of self-appointed culture warriors everywhere. So called Tough-On-Drugs politicians have happily built careers on confusing prohibition's horrendous collateral damage with the substances that they claim to be fighting while the big losers in this battle are everybody else, especially we the taxpayers. Prohibition prevents regulation: Legalize, regulate and tax!
d August 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I just watched a program called Crime inc. that focused on this spice and bath salts, it had horrible effects on the user and has caused many deaths. I am glad that this is banned and just because the manufacturer labeled this not for human consumption they have no liability but the marketing was that this was legal marijuana and cocaine. Although you wrote a eliquent comment regarding the prohibition of illegal drugs I as well as all the family members that have either lost or have a family member that are in the spirals of drug addictions disagree. I think there needs to be harsher punishments .I bet you would jump on that band wagon if one of your family members was a victim of someone that needed a 10.00 fix or a person hallucinating from one of these synthetic drugs. Our society suffers enough from the effects of drug abuse be it prescription synthetic or otherwise.
Jason Atkinson August 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM
While your points are well stated, and reasoned, I can't agree with you there. Prescription drugs are plenty regulated, yet this does not stop people from abusing them. The abuse just filters to the easiest means of acquiring the quantity of the substance the user wants to acquire. Be it docs writing prescriptions for money, or finding the docs who write prescriptions more easily, or getting the same script from multiple docs...addicts will find a way to get what they want, legal or not.
Kenneth Mason August 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Here is where I get myself into trouble...and I don't care who knows it or who reads this crap. "Crap" being this article. I come from a time (like a year ago) when this synthetic weed was legal. I have smoked it many a times...never once did I go into a "psychotic outrage" nor have the dozens of friends I smoked it with. The only side effects of this drug is a much more solid 8 hours of sleep a night and raiding the refrigerator after an hour or two. It even makes terrible misinforming articles like this one amusing. It figures that the last Asian (the owner) doing his county a service would be thrown in jail or face a felony charge. I keep forgetting that alcohol is much safer. Only in a world so retarded and blind. I remember doing a research paper at VCU on the legalization of Marijuana and things associated and remember reading that alcohol is the most dangerous and addictive drug. It actually listed higher in addiction and more notable deaths per year than heroin. So yes good people of Fredericksburg...let's continue to promote alcohol and tobacco consumption because that's our job as sheeps...do what we are told...
Jason Atkinson August 07, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Just because someone has a different point of view than your own does not mean that they are sheep following the herd. If that were the case, then we are all followers of herds with different ideas... I'm neither for nor against the arguments really, but I do know that you can come up with a study that ends up with the results being whatever you want them to be, depending on how you setup the study. I could make similar arguments for online poker, I enjoyed it from time-to-time, but now I am unable to access it. That doesn't really make those who wanted it to be illegal sheep either (despite the ridiculous way it was put into an anti-terrorism legislation). Common sense applies usually, everything is bad for you in excess...
y4h00_h4ck3r@yahoo.com August 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
The point of my article was not that all of America is sheep...but the fact that there are more serious issues in the world that need attention other than smoking a little pot whether it be synthetic or not. I 100% agree, Jason, that everything is bad in excess, but there needs to be no scientific proof other than experience that the most dangerous addictive drugs are the ones that are made available every day for purchase at your local grocery store. I personally have a really good friend who after smoking weed/spice every night decided to up and just quit one day in order to pursue another job and pass a drug test. He Quit without side-effects of any kind...the same friend could not quit his addiction to cigarettes even trying his hardest without his hands shaking so bad you think he would've had Parkinson's. To this day he goes through about almost a pack of cigarettes a day...even stopping in the middle of his workout to go satisfy his craving for a cigarette...while I agree that spice has to little of studies done to know actually how "dangerous" it is...what I do know is alcohol and cigarettes have 100% consistent studies showing how dangerous and addictive in nature they are. I workout 6 days a week and have a history of lung problems...and marijuana has never once impacted my workout or caused me to get dizzy or short of breath.
PG's Finest August 08, 2012 at 06:16 AM
I feel we are reading too deep into this whole synthetic marijuana,which I will say while in Georgia where many different brands were sold from most gas stations,and sold in all StarShips,I smoked hundred dollars worth of "K2",yet I never acted crazy,never experienced crazy unrational behavior,it's just as most alcoholic beverages,cigarettes,cigars,etc it's how we use this moderately and not to be a follower,though in a society which says breaking the law will get you prison time,I quit but I do miss the pleasures of rolling up what was sold right over the counter,so I feel we are more so puppets in a society where the laws change to control rather than to help.......which in my conclusion we have bigger issues than someone of legal age to buy cigarettes of cigars,IF one chooses to buy some synthetic marijuana.....
PostMaster August 08, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I find it interesting that it took Fredericksburg PD this long to shut this guy down. My son became very addicted to "Zombie Matter" and this Sunoco was his source. His habit became so intense that he was selling items out of our home to come up with the 20 to 40 dollars per day habit that he had. It was basically ruining my son's life. The reason that I make my initial statement is that I went to the Fredericksburg PD's office one night to talk to them about the problem. This was last year in the October time-frame. An officer was summoned to the station and she told me that "Kids want to get high" and that the Spice/K2 manufacturers continue to change the formula to work around the laws put in place that outlaw it. She ended our conversation by telling me that she would have the "NARCS" go and check them out. Of course my son continued to buy the garbage, hit me up for money, sell stuff out of our house and get violent with me when I told him I would not give him money. I even went and spoke to the night shift at the store to ask them not to sell the garbage to my son, as it was ruining his life. So, if the police need more evidence to put the owner of the store away for a while, I have collected the Zombie packaging and the envelopes that the store sold it in that had $20 and $40 hand written on the corners.
Dan Telvock (Editor) August 08, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Postmaster, please email me. I am working on additional follow ups/
April Shifflett November 16, 2012 at 05:50 PM
We have the same problem in Colonial Heights Va and I do not understand why nothing can be done in my town to shut these guys down but just north of us in Fredericksburg they are taking action against the sellers.?? I do believe Colonial Heights and Fredericksburg are in the same state...why yes they are!!! Zombie Matter almost killed my son and more than once.

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