Pasco Sheriff's Office busts business for selling synthetic drug - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco Sheriff's Office busts business for selling synthetic drugs

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Sergeant William Davis Sergeant William Davis
Foodland mini mart in Holiday selling synthetic marijuana Foodland mini mart in Holiday selling synthetic marijuana
HOLIDAY, FL (WFLA) -

The signs shows, you can buy ice, groceries, beer, cigarettes...and even lottery tickets at the Foodland mini mart in Holiday.

But Sergeant William Davis with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office narcotics unit says the business was also selling synthetic marijuana, despite a county ordinance banning the substance.

"We write them three citations. We arrested two of them for the felonies."

Arrested were Yasser Elkalazni and Nashat Shehata.

Davis says, "two days later march 7th, detective Maseda gets intel from a confidential source stating that guess what Foodland is still selling."

Undercover detective Siobhan Maseda made several buys of another banned synthetic drug.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Maha Hanna.

But when detectives returned....

"We go in there guess what? we seize a new product now that we also know is a common street brand..it's called Mr. Happy," said Davis.

Detective Maseda says that Foodland even had a warning to customers about the banned drugs.

"They had a sign on the register that said we do not sell spice that was on there during everyone of our undercover buys."

Detectives asked one of the employees why they continue to sell the drugs. 

Sergeant Davis says the response was, "because of the money. So these people decide to hell with what were telling you in law enforcement and the community we're just going to sell to it to greed to our kids and continue to just make money."

When I went to Foodland for a response, two men claiming to be employees told me to leave and ushered me out the door.

Davis says many businesses have complied. "For the one bad apple there's a whole lot of good ones in the community so I don't want the impression that every convenient store is selling this junk...they're not."

But for those business that continue to sell the banned substances, the Sheriff's Office has a message. "Don't sell it like marijuana..stop hiding it under the counter go sell something else to our kids like candy."

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