Sunday, April 22, 2018
Public safety

Store clerk arrested on charges of selling banned chemical substance

ST. PETE BEACH — Pinellas sheriff's detectives made their first arrest Tuesday in connection with an attorney general's emergency order banning the sale of a substance found in synthetic marijuana.

The arrest of Nadeem Malik, a clerk at the Sunshine Discount Food and Gift Corner, 6880 Gulf Blvd., was the first deputies have made in connection with the ban against XRL-11, one of a number of narcotics that Attorney General Pam Bondi targeted late last year. The substance is commonly found in products marketed as "Spice" or K-2."

Malik, 40, sold the substance to an undercover detective on Jan. 9 and 11, authorities said. Chemical testing confirmed the products contained the banned substance. Deputies arrested Malik on Tuesday night. He told deputies he sells the items at the direction of the store owner.

A search also turned up 104 small canisters with the same kind of synthetic marijuana sold to the detective, deputies said, along with about 150 packages containing similar substances.

The items had an estimated value of $2,280, authorities said.

Owners of the Sunshine Discount Food and Gift Corner could not be reached late Wednesday for comment.

Malik was released from the Pinellas County Jail Wednesday morning on $34,000 bail.

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