PORT CHARLOTTE — Narcotics detectives executed a search warrant Tuesday at a Port Charlotte convenience store, and they seized almost six pounds of synthetic marijuana, arresting three people on multiple charges. Early Tuesday evening, Narcotics detectives executed a search warrant at Charlotte Convenience Store, located at 3651 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. At the time of the search warrant, there were two employees in the store. The store manager arrived while detectives were searching the business. Detectives located a total of 2,656 grams, or about 5.85 pounds, of synthetic cannabinoids, which is also commonly known as “spice,” in the store. More than a pound of the substance was found behind the front counter, where the two employees were working. The rest was located in the manager’s office. Items from both locations tested positive for the presence of Schedule 1 narcotics. The substance was packaged in plastic containers for individual sale.
According to reports, as the result of changes in the state law governing controlled substances that took effect in April 2013, a deputy had met with the store manager, Kaushal Kumar Patel, 27, of the 1400 block of Lake Breeze Court in North Port, in May 2013 to let him know that 27 additional compounds were added to the Schedule 1 list. Patel is supposed to have signed an official notice that he understood that those added substances, including synthetic cannabinoids, would be illegal to sell. However, in June 2013 detectives conducted an operation in which undercover personnel went into the Charlotte Convenience Store and purchased four grams of synthetic marijuana from one of the store’s employees, Christian Perez, 25, of the 4300 block of Gardner Drive in Port Charlotte. When detectives arrived Tuesday to serve the search warrant, Perez was one of the two employees at the store. The other was Neisha Iree Perez, 24, of the same Gardner Drive address. Patel, Christian Perez and Neisha Perez were all arrested. Patel was charged with possession of synthetic cannabinoids, two counts of possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He was released on $9,500 bond. Christian Perez was also charged with possession of synthetic cannabinoids, two counts of possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He was released on $9,500 bond. Neisha Perez was charged with possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She was being held on a $3,500 bond. In addition to the nearly six pounds of synthetic marijuana seized, detectives seized a total of $19,833 in cash.
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