Marion Food Market selling more than groceries

Police allege that a local food market has been selling more than groceries. At 1 p.m.  Thursday, detectives from the MARMET Drug Task Force and the Marion Police Department served a search warrant at Marion Food Market, 887 East Center St.

When the task force went in, police found more than 600 packages of what they say is synthetic marijuana, with a street value of over $9,000. The drugs had various names like
"Kush," "Barely Legal," "Dead Man Walking," "Mr. Happy," and "Super Nova."

Major Bill Collins of the Marion City Police Department said synthetic marijuana
has been illegal in Ohio since Oct. 17.

"It (the synthetic marijuana) was under the counter. You had to ask for it by
name. It wasn't publicly displayed because it is illegal."

In addition to the drugs, police also seized hundreds of pipes used for smoking
the illegal drug and over $6,000 in cash.

The task force began investigating the sale of synthetic marijuana, commonly
known as "K-2" or "Spice," after several complaints from local residents. Many of
these complaints were made by parents who caught their children possessing or
using the products.

Collins said calls to the TIPS line helped with the investigation.
The entire task force investigation took approximately two and a half weeks,
Collins said. Undercover officers made purchases twice, which led to the task
force getting a search warrant.

While no arrests were made, drug trafficking charges are pending with the
Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

Collins said this was a very successful raid. He stated in a news release that "this
should serve as a warning to other businesses that may be tempted by the allure
of easy money. This is a federal drug trafficking crime and will be treated as

Originally published in the Marion Star on January 20, 2012.

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