Three Tri-County store owners accused of selling synthetic pot

Three Tri-County store owners accused of selling synthetic pot

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Three men who own stores in the Tri-County area have been indicted on charges they sold synthetic marijuana, commonly known as "spice" or "K2."

Federal court documents state charges were filed May 14 against Vedit Patel, owner of the Tobacco Co. at 8510 Rivers Avenue, and against Khalid Ibrahim and Firas Abuamsheh, owners of Kelly's Quick Stop at 3359 Rivers Avenue and the Quick Stop on Bacons Bridge Road.

Investigators accuse the three men of selling the designer drug which contains substances like XLR-11, a banned substance under the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act which was passed last July.

The drug is often marketed as incense or potpourri, but smoking it reportedly causes side effects similar to those experienced from smoking marijuana.

Some research also indicates smoking it can trigger psychosis.

Earlier this week, DEA agents executed raided the Exchange Factor, another store on Rivers Avenue. According to the store's owner, Joan Graf, the agents took two computers and what they considered to be synthetic marijuana.

Graf says the products she sells are called "botanicals" and are not synthetic marijuana.  She says botanicals "are not meant to be used and abused."

Her store is still open, but she is not sure what is coming next.  We've reached out to federal officials for more details.

Patel is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 28. A hearing has not been scheduled for Ibrahim and Abuamsheh, according to federal records.

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