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Sarasota Police raids crack down on designer drugs

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  • | 3:16 p.m. December 2, 2014
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The war on “spice” in the city of Sarasota continued before Thanksgiving, with another seizure of the illegal designer drugs from a local convenience store.

Although there weren’t any arrests, Officers with they SPD Narcotics Unit raided King’s Meat Market Nov. 25, during which they found 12 packages of “spice,” nearly $2,000 and a 12-gauge shotgun, said SPD spokeswoman Genevieve Judge. Detectives conducted undercover purchases at the Newtown business, and the investigation of the drug sales is ongoing.

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The operation was the fourth SPD has conducted since the city adopted Sarasota County’s ordinance banning the substances in February. The law allows local agencies to cite businesses for selling variants of synthetic marijuana, and herbs, pills or powders that mimic the high from amphetamines or opioids.

Some local head shops, smoke shops and convenience stores sold those products in colorful packaging with names such as "Mr. Happy," “Scooby Snacks” and "King Kong,” which were among the drugs recovered in a previous raid.

Sarasota police have seized 672 bags of “spice,” $4,708 in cash, one vehicle and two firearms as a result of the four search warrants targeting designer drugs. Detectives have also charged 25-year-old Isa Kabbanin with sale of a designer drug from a Marathon gas station on North Eashington Boulevard, and Rami Rabboh, 31, with possession of a designer drug following a search warrant executed in June at Snack’s Grocery on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“These are very significant undercover operations,” said Sarasota Police Lt. James Rieser in a news release. “These search warrants are extremely important because designer drugs are one of our biggest challenges currently.”


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