HAVELOCK, CRAVEN COUNTY - Havelock Police said they found a large amount of what they thought was the illegal drug, "Spice," at a local convenience store. But testing revealed the products were not "Spice" at all.
In early January, Havelock Police had received a number of complaints from citizens about the incense products, "Bizarro" and "Orgazmo." The two were thought to be "Spice" (synthetic marijuana), sold at the Super Expressway on East Main Street in Havelock.
The Havelock Police Department, NCIS, and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement obtained a search warrant after a three-month investigation. At the time, a field presumptive test came up positive for "Spice," investigators said. As a result, $28,000 worth of items were seized from Super Expressway.
But the products were returned to the store on Monday, because they were actually not "Spice," police said. The products are considered legal, according to the State Bureau of Investigations.
Attorney Steve Lacey told NewsChannel 12 that the allegations against store owner Nick Patel damaged his credibility.
"He was kind of disappointed they took the action because he'd gone through the trouble to have the product independently tested, to make sure it was completely legal under all the laws of this state and legal government," Lacey said.
Lacey said his client used an independent lab out of Richmond, Va., and sent the results to police before bringing the products into his store. But because the lab wasn't state approved, the results were invalid, police told NewsChannel 12.
No charges were filed against the store owner.