Burlington and Mebane police executed warrants to search the Purple Peddler, which has a location on North Church Street in Burlington and North Fifth Street in Mebane.
By By Roselee Papandrea/Times-News
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 20:06 PM.
A business that sells tobacco products and incense was raided by police this week in both its Burlington and Mebane store locations and five people were charged for selling synthetic marijuana.
Burlington Police Department’s Community Crime Abatement Team started investigating the Purple Peddler at 1325 N. Church St. in Burlington six months ago after receiving several complaints, according to a Burlington Police Department news release. Mebane police joined the investigation because the store also has a location at 204 N. Fifth St. in Mebane.
“During this investigation, officers have purchased synthetic marijuana from the Purple Peddler at both locations from the owner and multiple employees,” the release states.
On Tuesday at about 1:57 p.m., Burlington police executed a warrant to search the store on North Church Street while Mebane police executed a similar warrant to search the North Fifth Street store. Burlington police seized more than 1,200 packages of bath salts, synthetic marijuana, marijuana, currency and more than 3,000 items of drug paraphernalia, including smoking devices and scales.
Elon, Elon University Campus and Graham police departments assisted with the investigation.
The store’s owner, Edward D. Robeson II, 57, of Elva Lane, Chapel Hill, was charged by Burlington police with two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver synthetic cannabinoid, two counts sell/deliver synthetic cannabinoid, sell synthetic cannabinoid, conspiracy to sell synthetic cannabinoid, three counts felony maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for controlled substances, possession of marijuana up to half an ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia and simple worthless check.
According to warrants, on Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, Robeson sold synthetic cannabinoid to a detective and maintained a store on North Church Street in Burlington to sell synthetic cannabinoid. Between May 10 and Oct. 4, Robeson allegedly possessed with intent to sell and deliver 12.2 grams of synthetic cannabinoid, conspired with George Lafern Robeson to sell synthetic cannabinoid, kept and maintained a store at 204C N. Fifth St., Mebane to sell synthetic cannabinoid and sold synthetic cannabinoid to a detective.
On Oct. 9, 2012, Robeson allegedly possessed 771 grams of synthetic cannabinoid and an estimated 1,000 glass smoking devices. Warrants also state that on Aug. 6, 2004, Robeson wrote a worthless check in the amount of $425 to Sykes Industrial Truck Repair. Edward Robeson was placed under $30,000 bond.
George Lafern Robeson, 56, of N.C. 54, Graham, was charged by Mebane police with possession with intent to sell and deliver synthetic cannabinoid, conspiracy to sell synthetic cannabinoid, felony maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for controlled substance and selling synthetic cannabinoid.
According to warrants, Robeson possessed with intent to sell and deliver 12.2 grams of synthetic cannabinoid, sold it to detectives from May 10 to Oct. 4 and conspired with Edward Robeson to sell synthetic cannabinoid. Warrants also state George Robeson kept and maintained the store in Mebane to keep and sell synthetic cannabinoid from May 10 to Oct. 4. He was placed under $30,000 bond.
In addition, Jordan Michael Colapietro, 22, of Bent Oak Drive, Snow Camp, was charged by Burlington police with five counts of sell/deliver synthetic cannabinoid. According to warrants, Colapietro sold synthetic cannabinoid to detectives on May 3, May 30, Oct. 4 and Oct. 5. He was placed under $5,000 bond.
Frederick Jacob Pickard, 20, of Sherwood Drive, Burlington, was charged Tuesday, Oct. 9 by the Burlington Police Department with sell/deliver synthetic cannabinoid. According to warrants, Pickard sold synthetic cannabinoid to a detective on June 27. His was placed under $2,500 bond.
Mark Christopher Boyd, 21, of Burlington, was charged with three counts of sell and deliver a synthetic cannabinoid. He was placed under $1,000 bond.
In November 2010, the Times-News did a report on synthetic marijuana, which was legal to sell at the time and was sold under a variety of names, including “K2” “Spice,” “Head Funk,” “Genie,” “Yucatan Fire,” “Lion’s Tail” and “Smoke.”
At the time, the Purple Peddler sold K2 and Head Funk in the tobacco section of the store. At the time, Robeson told the Times-News he sold it because his customers asked for it.
In June 2011, a law went into effect in North Carolina that made it illegal to sell synthetic marijuana.
According to the Purple Peddler’s Facebook page, the store was open as usual Wednesday.
“It’s business as usual at the Purple Peddler — 1 little raid isn’t enough to stop this family owned and operated business — stay tuned for more info,” the Facebook status said. The page has 530 likes.