11 markets shut down in synthetic drug raids - WSMV Channel 4

11 markets shut down in synthetic drug raids

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency shut down 11 Nashville convenience markets on Tuesday for the alleged sale of synthetic marijuana and other illegal substances.

Police said the markets have been declared public nuisances by Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier.

During the raids, the markets were searched and money was seized that was believed to be related to the alleged illegal activity. Police said the stores were padlocked pending a court appearance by their owners on Thursday at 10 a.m.

The Tennessee Legislature passed a law that took effect May 15 which made the sale of synthetic marijuana a felony. The law also provides that businesses engaged in distribution can be padlocked as public nuisances.

Metro police said Tuesday's operation resulted in criminal charges against 16 people; and the seizure of 1,843 packets of synthetic marijuana, two pounds of Dream Bars (a synthetic substance similar to Xanax), a significant amount of drug paraphernalia and $106,324 cash.

"These products are inherently dangerous and seemingly packaged to appeal to teenagers and young adults," said Metro police Chief Steve Anderson. "The truth is, these colorful packets contain chemicals that can cause very serious side effects, including loss of control, vomiting, hallucinations and even death."

The markets closed Tuesday are:

  • First Discount Tobacco, 3916 Lebanon Pike
  • Jones Market, 1519 Jones Ave.
  • Main Street Market, 946 Main St.
  • Mora Discount Tobacco, 5532 Clarksville Pike
  • Nashville Smoke Shop, 3320 Nolensville Pike
  • NSP Discount Beer-Tobacco, 3002 Clarksville Pike
  • R & H Discount Tobacco, 450A-1 Donelson Pike
  • Re-Re Discount Tobacco, 2618 Lebanon Pike
  • Toke-N-Roll, 5122-B Nolensville Pike
  • Toke-N-Roll, 4824 Old Hickory Blvd.
  • Yes We Can, 2828 Gallatin Pike

Police said the raids were the first of many to come if stores don't comply with the state law.

"The owners of these stores and these establishments better get these drugs off the shelves, or we're coming to see you," said Mark Gwyn, with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

District Attorney General Torry Johnson said officials have documented evidence of illegal sales at the stores raided Tuesday.

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