Smoke shops targeted in sweep
Authorities in Baton Rouge and Baker on Friday arrested six people and seized more than 26 pounds of synthetic marijuana in two smoke shop raids.
The drug sweep came a day after state and local officials gathered to warn the public about a recent spike in synthetic marijuana overdoses.
“This is something that we’re taking very seriously due to the nature of it being illegal and also due to the health hazards that are caused by the use of these products,” said Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge police spokesman.
Baton Rouge police officers received assistance from Baker police in the raids, which netted arrests of four employees and two customers at the two stores, Coppola said.
Authorities first raided Fun Smoke Shop, 14422 Plank Road, Baker, about 1:30 p.m. Friday. Authorities seized about 2 pounds of synthetic marijuana and about $300 there.
Kimberly Brown, 32, of Plaquemine, and Sujitra Clark, 41, of Baton Rouge, both employees of the store, were arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of possession with intent to distribute Schedule I drugs, Coppola said.
The second raid happened about an hour later at Fun Times Novelties Smoke Shop, 15959 Hewwood Ave., off O’Neal Lane near Interstate 12 in Baton Rouge. There, authorities seized about 24 pounds of synthetic marijuana, suspected ingredients for making synthetic marijuana and more than $4,000, Coppola said.
Two employees of that store, Carl Bazile, 46, and Angelica Clark, 20, both of Baton Rouge, were booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of possession with intent to distribute Schedule I drugs, Coppola said.
Authorities also arrested two customers: John Smith, 26, of Morgan City, and Blythe Martin, 22, of Baton Rouge, and booked them into parish prison on counts of possession of Schedule II drugs, Coppola said.
Smith also was booked on a count of resisting an officer, and Martin also was booked on counts of possession of Schedule IV drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, Coppola said.