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Business owners accused of drug crime for selling fake pot

Owners of a South Carolina family business are under fire after allegedly selling synthetic marijuana in their establishments. Several members of the same family were arrested after a year-long drug crime investigation that involved multiple local law enforcement agencies. One man who is not a blood relative has been charged with manufacturing and distributing the illegal goods that were reportedly sold in the defendants' stores.

Reports show that each of the family's stores were stocked with up to 60 pounds of the synthetic marijuana product. Thousands of packets of the drug were allegedly seized during a series of raids by law enforcement officers. Additional searches at defendants' homes also yielded nearly $2 million in cash. More than $700,000 in suspect funds has also been frozen in the family's financial accounts.

Most of the defendants are facing drug-related charges associated with operating a business that sold illegal synthetic drugs. An investigation into the matter began after several parents reported that the drugs were being sold at the establishments. One parent had a teenage son who ended up in a coma after using the synthetic product.

Synthetic drugs are often created by using a special type of tea that is grown on U.S. soil. That plant is then sprayed with chemicals that are brought in from overseas. Chemical formulas are reportedly constantly changed to prevent prosecution, but analysis shows that the drugs seized in the recent raids can be considered a Schedule 1 drug. South Carolina residents may not think that they will be subject to drug related charges for selling a supposedly legal substance like synthetic marijuana, but state laws are catching up to such processes. Business owners could face significant financial and legal consequences if convicted of such charges.

Source: WYFF 4, "5 family-run businesses busted for fake pot; 7 arrested" No author given, May. 03, 2014

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