Banned drugs persist in local stores

In an Orange County Sheriff’s Office crackdown on synthetic marijuana and bath salts, four store clerks from three Vidor stores have been arrested in the past week.

On June 13, Muhammad Sultan was indicted on charges of selling synthetic marijuana, or kush, at Jr’s Mini Mart.
Kashif Shah was indicted after bath salts and kush were found at the Vidor Superette.
The day before, 19-year-old Mohammad Hammad Khan and 18-year-old with Mohamed Hamza Khan  arrested at the A-1 Smoke Shop.
The Sheriff’s Office says calls are coming in from concerned citizens in Vidor who are worried because the drugs are so available and so dangerous, causing extreme hallucinations and even death.
Just driving down N. Main Street in Vidor, you’ll pass three stores where the Orange County Sheriff’s Office says banned drugs were being sold in plain sight.
Unnerving news to mother of two, Sylvia Broxson.
“They need to stop it, seriously. They really do. It’s dangerous, not just for my kids, but for any of these kids out here,” says Broxson.
Six pounds of kush seized from A-1 Smoke Shop in an undercover bust, show making the drugs illegal didn’t stop the sale.
Kush was also found just down the street at Jr’s Mini Mart.
The property manager refused to go on camera, only saying the drug isn’t being sold.
Bath salts and kush were found at Vidor Superette.
“There’s so much money it,” says Sgt. Chad Hogan. “These store clerks, they go to Houston, buy this stuff for two, three dollars and come back and sell it for 15 to 20 dollars.”
Police receive eight to 10 complaints a week about stores selling synthetic marijuana or bath salts. Once narcotics investigators go in and seize the drugs, they are sent to a lab for testing to see if they contain banned chemicals.
“Most of the time those are in there. Those are the things that get you high, the things that are banned. So they’re going to have to keep these items in there to sell their product,” says Sgt. Hogan.
“They could do other people harm, and people on it get carried away and misuse it,” says one Vidor resident, David Cisneros. “You put people in jeopardy buying it.”
With the drug still out there, Broxson will be watching.
“The mothers, the parents, the citizens need to help and try to do something about this.”
Sgt. Hogan says the Sheriff’s Office expects even more arrests in Vidor because they will continue checking up on stores to get the drugs off the street.
All four who’ve been arrested, have now bonded out of jail.
If found guilty, they could face up to 99 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
That’s based on how much they had in their possession when arrested.

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