Canton police seized guns, ammo, 10 kilos of synthetic marijuana and bath salts, several thousands of dollars in money believed to be the proceeds of illegal drug sales at two Canton stores.
Police arrested four people when they raided two businesses and seized more than 10 kilos of synthetic pot and bath salts packaged for sale, several guns and ammunition and more than $50,000 cash.
The raids were the result of an increase in citizen complaints that the businesses were selling “synthetic cannabis and synthetic cathinones” called “Incense,” Spice, K2 and bath salts, said Lt. John Gabbard, who heads the police department’s Special Investigations Unit.
Gabbard said investigators confirmed the substances were being sold in Canton stores, but “the wording of the law and continuous variations to the chemical compounds made prosecution very difficult.”
Then House Bill 334 went into effect Dec. 20, he said. The bill addresses the substances, known as “controlled substance analogs.”
“This law change was vital to Canton Police investigations already underway,” he said.
As a result of their investigation, SIU officers at 9:45 a.m. Friday to the In & Out Mart at 805 McKinley Ave. SW, Gabbard said.
Owner Adel “Eddie” Hmeidan, 58, of 8103 Columbus Rd. NE in Nimishillen Township, was arrested along with his employee, Darla A. Lynch, 48, of 508 Melchoir Pl. SW, Stark County Jail records said. Each was charged with drug trafficking and possession.
The charges against them are first-degree felonies, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Stark County court records show Hmeidan went to prison in 1993 for several counts of food stamp trafficking and in 1999 for several counts of illegal use of food stamps.
Police seized more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) of the controlled substances, including more than 1,600 packages of synthetic cannabis or marijuana and more than 500 packages of synthetic cathinones called “bath salts,” Gabbard said. The officers also seized more than $43,000 in cash believed to be the proceeds of drug sales, a digital scale and other items used to prepare the illegal drugs for sale.
Police then went at 4:50 p.m. Friday to the Dollar and More store at 824 12th St. NW.
They arrested the owner, Charles Dunham, 31, of 1211 Raff Rd. SW, and his employee, Shawn Brilsky, 49, of 822 12th St. NW, the jail records said. Each was charged with drug trafficking and possession. The charges are second- and third-degree felonies, respectively.
Police seized more than 20 grams of controlled substances, more than $7,000 in cash, a digital scale, various ammunition and firearm magazines and four guns, Gabbard said. The guns included a .45-caliber Hi-Point pistol, a 9mm Ruger pistol, a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun and a .45-caliber Kahr pistol.
Gabbard did not say whether any of the guns were loaded.