Sweep nets 1,700 bags of fake pot

Sheriff’s office holds second crackdown

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office confiscated another 2,078 bags of synthetic marijuana from four different businesses July 10, 11 and July 12.

This marks the third sweep in less than 30 days of local establishments known for selling the substances.

In less than 30 days, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has confiscated about 3,500 bags of suspected synthetic marijuana.

Puff and Stuff Smoke Shop at 410 Atlanta Highway in the city limits of Cumming had 880 bags confiscated, while King John Smoke Shop at 3280 Keith Bridge Road in north Forsyth County had 771 bags confiscated by undercover narcotics investigators, according to Sheriff Ted Paxton.

On July 11, narcotics officers went to Heads Off Smoke Shop, 2325 Atlanta Highway, and confiscated 87 bags.

“This is the second time we have confiscated the suspected synthetic marijuana from all of these businesses,” said Paxton. “As I said in June, when the new rule was adopted giving us the ability to confiscate these substances, we are going to remain diligent in monitoring the distributors. We are going to keep going back to these businesses to ensure they are following the law.”

Deputies say they learned of the locations after tips from the community.

“We urge any citizens who suspect that synthetic marijuana is still being sold, please contact us,” said Paxton.

The synthetic marijuana is commonly known as Spice, bath salts and K-2.

On July 12, 170 more bags of possible synthetic marijuana were confiscated during an undercover purchase at the Save Money Food Mart at 3671 Hutchinson Road.

Deputies were being sold some “spice” by the clerk, when they identified themselves as law enforcement.

Deputies found the synthetic marijuana hidden in several locations, including a storage cooler, a knit hat and bags hidden behind boxes.

In addition to confiscating the substances, one person was arrested at the King John Smoke Shop on an outstanding warrant for the sale of drugs.

Javed “John” A. Panjwani, 32, was taken into custody for selling to undercover officers March 28 at the Country Cupboard Shell Gas Station at 601 Dahlonega Highway. Panjwani is listed as an owner of King John Smoke Shop and the Country Corner Shell. He remains at the Forsyth County Detention Center with no bond.

Panjwani was previously arrested by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in May and charged with commercial gambling at the Country Corner Shell and was out on bond on this charge when he was arrested this week.

During the agency’s first sweep June 13, Narcotics investigators seized 1,939 bags with an estimated value of $28,000.

During that sweep, five businesses were checked. Only one, The Smoke Shop on Ga. 9, was complying with the new rule.

The crackdown on the synthetic drugs began in June at the request of Gov. Nathan Deal. The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy adopted an emergency rule classifying newly discovered compounds of synthetic marijuana and giving Ga. P.O.S.T. certified officers the ability to enter any retail, wholesale, distributor or manufacturing facility to identify and seize drugs, compounds and articles identified in the emergency rule.

Officers would be acting as agents of the SBOP and the Ga. Drugs and Narcotics Agency. The rule allows law enforcement to seize the new forms of the synthetic marijuana, but does not provide for an arrest.