One of the packages of the synthetic cannabis seized.
Marion County Sheriff Jerry DeVore bringing in the confiscated synthetic drugs to the Law Enforcement Center.
The Marion County Sheriff's Department raided Biggie's Convenience Store at Route 161 and Interstate 57 Tuesday morning and confiscated 475 packages of synthetic cannabis. Sheriff Jerry DeVore says the seizure is being made under the new Illinois Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and following numerous complaints about the store selling the synthetic drug. DeVore reports the drug was not openly displayed, but was allegedly available under the counter.
The operator of the store, 43-year-old Kelly Alexander of Walnut Hill Road in Walnut Hill, was taken into custody on a Class II felony charge of unlawful distribution of a misbranded drug. DeVore says Alexander arrived during the execution of the search warrant. Alexander is expected to remain in the Marion County Jail until bond is set during his first court appearance on Wednesday.
The business was shut down after seven deputies arrived to shut down the business around eight Tuesday morning. The store will be allowed to reopen.
Another similar raid was conducted at the store last year, but no criminal charges had been filed because the chemical compound did not match those identified as being illegal in the state statue. DeVore says that should not be a problem under the statue Alexander is being charged now.
DeVore hopes the arrest and seizure will cut down on the availability of the drug. The estimated street value of the drug seized Tuesday was placed at $19,350.
DeVore commended the department's investigators Anthony Decker and Ryan Castleman for doing an excellent job in setting up Tuesday's raid.