Hundreds of pounds of synthetic marijuana and heroin found in bu - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hundreds of pounds of synthetic marijuana and heroin found in businesses

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Synthetic marijuana Synthetic marijuana
Abdul Alshawi (Source: LMDC) Abdul Alshawi (Source: LMDC)
Smoker's Oasis store owned by Abdul Alshawi. Smoker's Oasis store owned by Abdul Alshawi.
Lieutenant J. T. Duncan Lieutenant J. T. Duncan

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A man was arrested for selling hundreds of pounds of synthetic marijuana and heroin in three local businesses.

Narcotics officers said they purposefully didn't do undercover buys for almost a year to build their case. Police said they received complaints for months about synthetic marijuana sold at Smoker's Oasis and Discount Medical, businesses owned by Abdul Alshawi.

After keeping a close eye, officers confiscated "three loaded handguns, 453 pounds of synthetic marijuana, 6.3 pounds of suspected liquid THC and a large amount of Kratom, which is a synthetic heroin," said Lieutenant J. T. Duncan of the Louisville Metro Police narcotics unit.

Duncan said they also found $300,000 in cash.

Alshawi is charged with acquiring property through the sale of controlled substances and trafficking in a synthetic drug.

"This is not the only smoke shop, he is not the only one doing this," said Duncan, "it's a problem all over."

Duncan and his team are trying to build heavy cases against these dealers to make sure they won't have small charges that are dismissed and lessened. They're taking the time to build large cases.

"It usually comes in from China or Pakistan," said Duncan of the synthetic marijuana, "then they mix it with cut grass anything they can to kind of cut it up they repackage it and resell it."

It's the convenience and the low cost that make synthetic drugs hard to get rid of. The synthetic marijuana will smell more chemical than real marijuana and will look more uniform. But what you don't see is they're almost always constructed with household cleaners and chemicals. One smoke can lead to one seizure.

"Supposedly it gives some high or some euphoric state for the kids and young adults that smoke it so they smoke more and more," Duncan said. "You know we don't know what they're putting in their system, they don't know what they're putting in their system, so it could be something that may not have a long term effect or it could kill them in 6 months or a year or could kill them right away."

As for any other arrests the narcotic officers say this investigation is still ongoing.

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