Authorities have seized nearly $20,000 from a local business accused of illegally selling synthetic drugs to an undercover agent last week.
Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley has ordered $18,260 seized last Friday night during the raid of Super Gas on Sparta Street to be seized and held until it is determined if the money will be permanently forfeited to the state.
Lawmen from both city and county raided the store after they say they made undercover buys of synthetic drugs from the market. The drugs in question had been legal for sale up until July when the state made their sale illegal. The drugs are listed under the same law that governs certain plant foods which were being widely misused as intoxicating drugs. Investigators made attempts to purchase similar drugs from several other stores in Warren County but were only able to make purchases from Super Gas.
Lawmen descended on the store after the buys and seized money. In claiming the money should be seized, officers, in their forfeiture warrant against the store, claimed Super Gas had mixed good money with bad, therefore leaving all of the money found up for seizure. Specifically, investigators say they used marked bills to buy the illegal synthetics and those marked bills were found with other money, thereby making it all subject to forfeiture.
“There is probable cause to believe the owners knew that such property was of a nature that it’s possession or delivery was illegal,” Judge Stanley said Wednesday in his decision to hold the money.
There have been no arrests or citations to date. However, an investigation is pending with potential criminal action against those accused of selling the items and possible civil action against the store for allowing the items to be sold on its premises.