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Synthetic marijuana, equipment, cash seized from Waynesboro smoke shop

No charges filed

March 08, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A petition filed in the Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas calls for a Waynesboro business to forfeit $95,280 in cash, 776 vials and 18 digital scales as part of a synthetic marijuana investigation.

On Jan. 5, the Franklin County Drug Task Force and Waynesboro Police Department searched the Best Smoke Shop/Best Mini-Mart at 102 E. Main St., the building that once housed Sheetz.

“The search yielded over 750 packages of synthetic marijuana, over 800 pieces of drug paraphernalia including glass and metal smoking devices, plus paraphernalia disguised as everyday normal electronic devices and a quantity of U.S. currency,” according to a news release from the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.

Most synthetic marijuana is illegal in Pennsylvania because of its ingredients, District Attorney Matt Fogal said.

First Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah D. Zook filed a petition Jan. 27 asking that items seized by the drug task force be forfeited to the state by the shop and its owner, who is listed in court documents as Mohammad Safdar Rana.

A hearing has not been scheduled.

According to court documents, an undercover detective twice purchased synthetic marijuana from the store in November 2011. A test of those products allegedly revealed a controlled substance.

The detective said he heard an employee tell another customer that only cash can be used to purchase synthetic marijuana, and no receipt would be given. He also saw people “smoking the synthetic marijuana immediately upon exiting the store front,” according to court documents.

Drug task force agents seized the cash, vials of synthetic marijuana and digital scales.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Synthetic marijuana use seems to have gained popularity in recent years, Fogal said.

He speculated that the Internet and social media are contributing to continued development of new drugs that require new laws to regulate.

The Washington Township (Pa.) Police Department also participated in the investigation.

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