You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Raid targets synthetic drugs


State and local officials raided a Clark County convenience store and a Dayton home Friday morning as part of a series of investigations across three-counties that targeted outlawed synthetic drugs.

A search warrant was served at Quality Food Mart, 127 Weinland Drive in Bethel Twp., where officials took owner Munir F. Al Hmidat, 50, of Dayton, and clerk Fadi K. Shoukri, 27, of Dayton, into custody on three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

The warrants were among five served in three counties that allegedly uncovered synthetic marijuana or herbal incense being sold in three Ohio stores, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

“Some of the drugs found in these investigations came in packaging designed with superhero images, which demonstrates that these drugs are being marketed toward our children,” DeWine said.

The raids and investigations were conducted jointly by the Clark County Sheriff’s office, the attorney general’s office Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Consumer Protection Section, the R.A.N.G.E. Task Force and other local agencies.

The investigation began more than four months ago, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said, when a mother emailed him and said she suspected her son had purchased what she believed were bath salts.

The juvenile had gone “crazy,” Kelly said quoting the mother, and was in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center at the time.

“Because it was a juvenile, it prompted us to more vigorously investigate,” Kelly said.

Evidence investigators said they collected during the raid of the Bethel Twp. business included about $30,000 in cash, at least $1,300 of suspected synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs, drug paraphernalia, computer equipment, a handgun and more.

While the Bethel Twp. raid was ongoing, a search warrant for Al Hmidat’s Montgomery County home was served by state investigators and members of the Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Enforcement Task Force.

DeWine has made eliminating synthetic drugs a priority, his office said, and sent a warning letter to retailers in November advising them of the risks of continuing to sell synthetic drugs. A state law that went into effect in December strengthened the ban on synthetic drugs.

“We gave business owners fair warning that if we found synthetic drugs in their stores that there would be consequences, and now we are following through with that promise,” DeWine said outside the Quality Food Market.

Three warrants in two similar, but unconnected, cases also were served Friday on two stores in Guernsey County.

The state also filed civil lawsuits against the three businesses, alleging they “engaged in unfair, deceptive and unconscionable acts by selling illegal drugs as legal products,” the office said in a news release.

Attorneys also filed nuisance abatements against the businesses, requesting that the stores be closed for one year.

“We need to do everything we can to protect our families, and that is why we decided to take this action one step further and file civil lawsuits against those involved,” DeWine said.



Next Up in Crime

Clark County drug overdoses double in 24-hour spike
Clark County drug overdoses double in 24-hour spike

Clark County has seen a spike in opioid-related drug overdoses this week — double what’s typically seen — in just a 24-hour period, according to local health leaders. The Clark County Combined Health District sent an alert to other county agencies that the emergency department at Springfield Regional Medical Center has seen at least...
Greene County sheriff: William Brown was target in double homicide
Greene County sheriff: William Brown was target in double homicide

Sheriff Gene Fischer on Wednesday said one of two Greene County residents shot to death Sunday was targeted by an “angry” person, leading investigators to believe the general public is not in danger. “We don’t see this as a serial killer-type thing where other residents are a target,” Fischer said at a press conference...
Clark county grand jury indicts man on attempted murder charge
Clark county grand jury indicts man on attempted murder charge

A Clark County Grand Jury has indicted a Springfield man on a charge of attempted murder after police alleged he shot a man several times. Curtis Long, 55, was also indicted on charges of felonious assault and having weapons under disability. Springfield Police Division officers responded to the 1400 block of Woodward Avenue early on Jan. 10 to a report...
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House

The Obamas will soon leave the White House for the last time as the president and first lady. Their eight years in the historic house is coming to an end. First lady Michelle Obama took the Obama’s Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny on what’s described as a final walk through the building the Obama’s have called home now since 2009...
Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off
Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off

The Michigan Humane Society is seeking the public’s help in a horrific case of animal abuse. The organization received a call from a concerned citizen in a Detroit neighborhood on Tuesday, and a rescue team located the injured Rottweiler mix and rushed him to an animal hospital after observing his severe wounds, according to a press release from...
More Stories