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Trustees object to liquor renewal

Clark County convenience store was targeted in raid by state officials.

Trustees unanimously objected the annual renewal of a local convenience store’s liquor license on the basis that it allegedly sold outlawed synthetic drugs and is a public nuisance.

The objection came during a meeting Thursday morning.

Quality Food Mart, 127 Weinland St., was the subject of a raid Feb. 1 in which state and local authorities took its owner and a clerk into custody and seized money and synthetic marijuana, which investigators allege was being sold from the business after a ban took effect Dec. 20.

Store owner Munir F. Al Hmidat, 51, and clerk Fadi K. Shoukri, 28, both of Dayton, were charged with one count each of trafficking in drugs in connection with the raid, but those charges were later dismissed in Clark County Municipal Court.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office also requested a temporary injunction against the two men, barring them from being at or using the property for any purpose, and asked that the business be closed to all use pending the outcome of court action, according to Clark County Common Pleas Court documents.

That case is still pending and the business continues to operate.

Lawyers for the business and the two men countered the state’s injunction request in court documents, writing that the state’s lead lawyer has no basis for a preliminary injunction for a variety of reasons, including that the state can’t show that the public at large will suffer irreparable harm if the they continued to operate the business.

The board of trustees’ objection was made in part because the business “… has operated the liquor permit business in a manner that demonstrates disregard to the laws, regulations or local ordinances … including … the selling of illegal drugs. Although this is not a basis for any objection by the board because there is no final judgment … the board … wishes to inform the Ohio Division of Liquor Control that there is currently pending a public nuisance action against the owner, the managing member, and the premises.”

With their motion, the trustees requested a public hearing with the state liquor control board on the matter. That hearing has yet to be set.

A man who answered the phone at the business Thursday declined to comment on the trustees’ objection until he spoke with his lawyer.

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