Spice bust nets three drug charges for Burley business owner

One Stop Shop

The Voice photo by C. Colt Crane

It was here at the One Stop Shop on East Main that local law enforcement found “Pep Spice” and paraphernalia that netted Mahest “Mike” Shaw three drug charges.

            BURLEY – A May drug bust has netted a Burley man three drug related charges and appears to have thwarted the local “spice” sales, according to authorities.

A warrant was issued May 3, 2012, to the One Stop Shop at the Lamplighter Motel located at 304 E Main Street and was a result of a year-long investigation by the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force and Cassia County Sheriff’s office into allegations of the possession and distribution of controlled substances known as “Pep Spice”.

The drug is an organic material laced with a Schedule I non-narcotic synthetic drug similar to THC, the chemical found in marijuana. Pep Spice is a laboratory manufactured substance that was being sold as incense in an effort to fly under the radar of food and drug laws.

The Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force were tipped off to the drug’s distribution by reports of people falling ill and being hospitalized as a result of smoking the synthetic drug. Officials say that Pep Spice can be as dangerous and as addictive as meth and heroin. Reports of users being rushed to the emergency room is part of what initially tipped off local law enforcement agencies.

Thousands of dollars’ worth of drug paraphernalia and Pep Spice were seized by Cassia Deputies and the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force.

Cassia County Prosecutor Alfred E. Barrus said that the owner of the One Stop Shop, Mahesh “Mike” Shaw has been charged with three counts of drug related crimes.

“Mr. Shaw has been charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver,” said Barrus.

The drug bust has been a boon to local law enforcement according to Detective Dan Renz, Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force Supervisor.

“We’ve had no reports on anything else going on,” said Renz.

“There is no further indication of related activity.”

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