deputies help raid suspected fake pot lab
Federal agents and Pasco deputies raided a synthetic marijuana laboratory that was shipping products throughout the country, said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. The raid on Wednesday was part of a national investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration focusing on the synthetic drug industry. The Pasco lab was at 4339 Buena Vista Lane, which is just west of U.S. 19 in Holiday. Nocco said 440 pounds of materials were seized, including more than 100,000 packages of the drug, also called "Spice." Nocco said the business was buying drug components from China, then spraying those materials with chemicals and packaging them for sale. Many components of synthetic marijuana are banned, but makers of the drug have skirted the law by using alternate chemicals. The Sheriff's Office said it believes the materials seized Wednesday are illegal. No arrests have been made yet as the chemicals are being tested. "If you are in the game for greed, we will be putting handcuffs on you," Nocco said at a news conference Thursday. The raid came on the same day that federal agents and Hills borough deputies seized millions of dollars worth of synthetic marijuana from three Tampa warehouses.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Court date delayed in zoning dispute
The owner of a clinical drug trial company cited for operating in violation of zoning requirements has pleaded not guilty, as efforts are under way for the city to amend its land-use code to accommodate the business. New Port Richey code enforcement cited Advanced Research Institute owner Susan Randall on May 24 for operating her business on a residentially zoned property. Randall then told the Times she had to open because she had clinical drug trials scheduled at her new site at 6716 Congress St., which previously housed a residential facility for boys. The conflict with the city emerged as Randall had already been told that her business – which conducts trials on some patients on an in-patient basis – did not fit with the zoning on the property. City Council members were initially critical of Randall for opening, but later directed staff to begin working with ARI to come up with a land-use amendment to allow the business to stay on that site. But that takes time, so New Port Richey's attorney has agreed to push back a final hearing on the code enforcement violation in order for negotiations to continue. A magistrate has set that hearing for Dec. 19, according to Assistant City Attorney Jim Lang.
Football meeting set for parents
Wesley Chapel High School will hold a parent meeting for anyone interested in joining the football program. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 in the school cafeteria. For information, contact head coach Ben Alford at (813)766-0950.