Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

Crackdown on synthetic marijuana ensnares Riverview convenience store

RIVERVIEW — A convenience store owner and clerk were arrested, and 3,100 packets of synthetic marijuana were confiscated, after detectives bought the banned drug there, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Authorities said detectives bought the synthetic drug at the Riverview Pit Stop, 8624 U.S. 301 S, after a beefed-up law went into effect on April 1.

Tests at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that the substance included a compound called AM-2201, which was one the controlled substances recently banned by the Legislature, deputies said.

The state had tied before to ban compounds in the synthetic drugs, which go by brand names including K2 and Spice, but manufacturers simply tweaked the recipe to include new ones. So earlier this year, the state added to the list of illegal substances.

Arrested Thursday were store owner Riyad Aljamal, 41, and clerk Kareem Alsioury, 31, both of Tampa. The each face a charge of felony distribution of a controlled substance.

The Sheriff's Office said the synthetic marijuana seized from the store was valued at $124,000.

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