ONSLOW COUNTY - More than 37,000 grams of Spice were seized from two businesses after an undercover operation by Jacksonville police, leading to two arrests. The retail value of the Spice is more than $1 million.
The investigation revealed that Spice, a banned synthetic narcotic, was being sold at The One Stop Shop, a convenience store at 501 Corbin Road. An employee of the business, 27-year-old Abdullah Mohamed Saleh, was arrested and charged. More than 3,000 grams of spice (6.5 lbs), with a retail value of $93,420, was seized from the store.
Investigators also found synthetic drugs being sold at Discount Tobacco, located at 331 G and H Western Boulevard. The store's owner, 48-year-old Mohammed Dahmash, was arrested and charged. More than 34,000 grams of Spice (75.5 lbs.), with a retail value of $1,021,830, was seized from the business.
"This will stop it," said Jacksonville Police Chief Mike Yaniero, "or at least slow it down dramatically for a little while."
The arrests were made during the early evening hours of Tuesday, September 20th. Both subjects were held at the Onslow County Jail.
Since Discount Tobacco is just a few doors down from Kids Landing daycare, Dahmash is facing charges of selling illegal drugs within 1,000 feet of a daycare, endangering the children.
"A child could be in danger form them driving, he could be in danger of them getting into a fight, and other, you know, different kinds of things happen," Yaniero said.
Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids compounds can produce a "high" experience similar to that of smoking marijuana. The law banning use and sale of synthetic drugs has been in effect since June 1, 2011, providing law enforcement with the tools to combat these dangerous drugs.
News Channel 12 went by Discount Tobacco the day before the ban on synthetic drugs went into effect. At the time, they were already on Camp Lejeune's banned businesses list because of selling synthetic drugs.
"In fact, we worked together with them on this particular case," Yaniero said.
Sharing information on what they saw going on, to fight synthetic drugs on base and off.
"And coordinate our efforts, in order to make it safe for both communities," Yaniero said.
The City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Police had produced a video that provided information about Spice, bath salts and other synthetic drugs. Visit the city's website to view the video.