'Spice' bust leads to arrests in Clearwater - WFLA News Channel 8

'Spice' bust leads to arrests in Clearwater

Posted: Updated:
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Clearwater police say they've made the largest synthetic marijuana bust in the city's history.  Officers took four men into custody.

"More than 18,000 packages of synthetic marijuana was seized from the Hillcrest Store alone, with an estimated street value of $300,0000," officials said.

The men under arrest have been identified as Christopher Dolu, Jean Bitar, Tarak Allababidi, and Remon Saber Aziz Farg.

Police say Dolu and Farg worked at the Wanna Save store at 1362 Cleveland St. in Clearwater, and Bitar worked at Danny's Tobacco Shop at 1621 Gulf to Bay Blvd.   

Officers also raided the Sonic Store on South Missouri Avenue, where Allababidi worked, and the Hillcrest Store on Gulf to Bay Boulevard.  At the Hillcrest Store, officers seized 49 bags of evidence as well as several weapons. They detained two workers at that store, but didn't arrest them.

Clearwater Police spokesman Rob Shaw says the bust is a culmination of months of undercover buys and operations.  

"We've been doing this for about a year now," said Shaw.  "Originally we served all of these stores notices that it was no longer going to be legal to sell this kind of stuff on the streets and what we've done is continue to monitor that over time."

Bill Grant runs a business adjacent to the Wanna Save store.  He says he sees people loitering around the store from time to time.  He says he's pleased the police are cracking down on this illegal activity.  

"It's good for everybody," said Grant.  "All the homeowners in the area and so forth. They're trying to put a development over here on Drew Street and it's going to clean up the area if they get that kind of stuff out of the area."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:04 AM EDT2014-09-01 08:04:24 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:59:20 GMT
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:44:26 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 

  • Pedestrian hit on U.S. 19 in Pasco County

    Pedestrian hit on U.S. 19 in Pasco County

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:53:50 GMT
    A pedestrian was hit while walking west on US Highway 19 south of Fivay Road Saturday night. A 2008 Chevy Cobalt driven by Mikola D. Batov of Hudson was traveling north on U.S. 19 in the center lane, approaching Fivay Road shortly before 10 p.m....
    A pedestrian was hit while walking west on US Highway 19 south of Fivay Road Saturday night. A 2008 Chevy Cobalt driven by Mikola D. Batov of Hudson was traveling north on U.S. 19 in the center lane, approaching Fivay Road shortly before 10 p.m....
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.