Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

Hernando Sheriff's Office arrest 3 men on synthetic marijuana charges

SPRING HILL — Hernando County vice detectives arrested three men on synthetic drug charges after searching a home and a convenience store Thursday, authorities said.

Acting on a search warrant, investigators arrested two men at 7298 Blackhawk Trail after undercover detectives bought 184 packets of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as spice, the Hernando Sheriff's Office said. Detectives also found 57 spice packets in the trunk of a vehicle at the home, 10 packets in the house and a small amount of marijuana.

Mahdi Ben Mohamed Sghaier, 38, and Joseph Anthony Galarza, 29, were booked on drug sale and possession charges. Sghaier, a resident alien from Tunisia, was being held without bail at the Hernando County Detention Center and is expected to return to his home country next week, the Sheriff's Office said. Galarza remained in jail Friday in lieu of $25,000 bail.

In a separate case, detectives executed a search warrant at the Chevron service station at 2109 Commercial Way after two undercover spice buys netted seven packets of spice. Eleven more packets and a large amount of drug paraphernalia, including pipes and scales, were seized during the search of the store, deputies said.

Store owner Manglesh Donda, 48, was arrested at the scene and charged. He was booked into the county jail on drug sale and possession charges and released Friday after posting $20,000 bail, records show.

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