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Attorney General Bondi Joins Pasco Spice Raid

Pam Bondi has been working in Tallahassee to help with local crackdowns on synthetic drugs.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi got a first a firsthand look Tuesday at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office's efforts to stop the sale of synthetic drugs.

Bondi joined deputies on one of three raids of stores accused of selling synthetic drugs in West Pasco. When deputies arrived at the Mobil convenience store, 7011 Massachusetts Ave. in New Port Richey, on Tuesday morning, Bondi followed them inside.

The Mobil was one of several stores in West Pasco where deputies had made made undercover purchases of synthetic drugs this year. Those purchases enabled them to get search warrants.

In the store, deputies talked to Sikander Noorani, a man behind the cash register who identified himself as an employee. At some point, he collapsed, complaining of health problems. Paramedics were brought in, and he was brought out of the store on a stretcher and taken for medical attention.

Noorani was one of the four people arrested during the raids.

At a press conference before the raids, Bondi talked about how synthetic drug use can result in hallucinogenic and psychotic effects.

“It can cause very dangerous things to happen to you and your child,” she said.

She talked about how the products are marketed to kids, pointing out that there have been packages marketed with Scooby Doo.

She also recounted a story about a girl who was told synthetic drugs would help her focus on final exams, sprinkled a substance and suffered seizures as a result.

In its investigation leading up to Tuesday busts, deputies came across apparent synthetic drug products with labels like Platinum, AK47, Insane, LOL, Bomb Marley, California Dreams and Mad Hatter.

Testing of some products revealed they contained XLR11, a synthetic cannabinoid Bondi banned in an emergency order last year. Bondi has made banning substances used to make synthetic drugs a priority during her time as attorney general.

A search of the Mobil station Tuesday yielded packets of substances that deputies intend to send for synthetic drug testing. Some were marketed as Mr. Happy and wrapped in packages with a yellow smiley face. There were also packages of Dead Man Walking, which is marked with a large skull. And deputies also found packages of “Scooby Snax” potpourri, which bears the image of the cartoon dog Scooby Doo on the cover.

“Aiming toward our children, that is what is despicable,” Bondi said.

In addition, deputies found a logbook in which sales of “Spice” were recorded,  said Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The sheriff’s office warned convenience stores in December that it was going to start enforcing a new Pasco County ordinance prohibiting possession, sale, provision or distribution of synthetic drugs. The ordinance penalizes stores that sell synthetic drugs.

Synthetic drugs have been a cause for a concern in Pasco. Two substances targeted by the ordinance, which is now in effect, are synthetic marijuana, which also goes by such names as Spice and K2; and bath salts, which are meant to mimic cocaine.

In the push to enforce the ordinance, store owners received signs to put in their windows that read “Drug paraphernalia located inside. No person under 18 years of age may enter unless accompanied by his/her parent or legal guardian.”

One such sign was in the Mobil window. 

Four people were arrested in Tuesday’s raid. They were charged with sale and possession of a controlled substance and violation of the Pasco County ordinance on sale of synthetic drugs.

The following stores were searched Tuesday:

  • Super K, 12838 U.S. 19, Hudson
  • Mobil, 7011 Massachusetts Ave, New Port Richey
  • Boost Mobile, 3448 Grand Blvd., Holiday

Four people were arrested in Tuesday’s raid. They were charged with sale and possession of a controlled substance and violation of the Pasco County ordinance on sale of synthetic drugs.

Those arrested are:

  • Mohammed Kamaluadin, 39 Hudson Ridge Drive, Apt. 304, Port Richey
    (Raid at Super K)
  • Sikander Noorani, 57, 8841 Cameron Crest Drive, Tampa. (Mobil)
  • Ahmad Rabei, 19, 3915 Berwick Drive, New Port Richey (Raid at Boost Mobile)
  • Noor Jehan Merchant, 58, 8841 Cameron Crest Drive, Tampa,  store clerk (Raid at Mobil)
Mary May 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM
THANKS PAM BONDI YOU ARE THE BEST ALSO SHERRIF NOCCO YOU ARE GETTING THOSE CREEPS WITH DRUGS OFF THE STREET OUR KIDS DESERVE BETTER AND THESE DRUGS ARE DEADLY AND WE HAVE TO REPORT ANY AND ALL ACTIVITIES WITH DRUG ABUSE PEOPLE PLEASE CALL IN DRUGGIES THEY NEED TO GO TO JAIL
Jimmy James II May 15, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Good work Bondi and Nocco.
Shelly May 16, 2013 at 01:01 AM
I Thank "God" that finally someone really cares in Pasco. For the first time in so many years we are working to help our youth. Salute to Sheriff Nocco & his staff!!!
Carole May 19, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Thank you Sheriff Nocco, Ms. Bondi, and all your people in continuing to rid our county and hopefully our State of such dangerous, insidious drugs!

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