CPD Narcotics unit raids cigar shop, 2nd time in three months - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

CPD Narcotics unit raids cigar shop, 2nd time in three months

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

When you think of a spice, oregano, garlic and pepper may come to mind but Columbus authorities say people are using a different kind of spice to get high.

Narcotics agents stormed into a Columbus cigar shop looking for the disguised drug.  It has many names, Black Mamba, Skunk, or Spice; synthetic marijuana is illegal in most states including Georgia and Alabama.

According to drug abuse dot org Spice is the second most popular drug to Marijuana for High School Seniors.  It's disguised as an incense or potpourri.

Packages clearly state the substance is not for human consumption but manufacturers spray Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the primary chemical in marijuana onto the granules.

"I just tell them that it's banned and they can't get it here," Bhavm Patel from T & T Cigar & Food says.

We did a story about synthetic Marijuana in early 2012 shortly after it was banned in Georgia.   T&T Cigar and Food Mart on Warm Springs Road agreed to let us inside their store.

They told us as soon as they got word the product was considered illegal in the valley, they immediately took it off shelves; the CPD Metro Narcotics Unit says that's not so.

It's the second time in about three months the corner store has been raided on suspicion of selling Spice.

"We have one individual in custody at this time. He's being charged with violation of controlled substance act schedule one and possession of a drug related object," says Cpt. Slouchik.

Authorities arrested employee 33-year-old Sujal Patel.

The store was previously raided for selling synthetic marijuana and illegal gambling back on February 28.

Two employees, Harshad Laxmenbhei Patel and Krunal Jani were arrested during that raid. Both were charged with felony commercial gambling and keeping a gambling place.

Investigators tell News Leader 9 obviously the store owners didn't learn from the first raid.

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