Convenience store/deli owner back in jail
Much like the series of children's books, "Where's Waldo?", many downtown area diners have been wondering lately, "Where's Nadio?"
Nadio's Mini Mart in the 800 block of Broadway, has been closed for a few weeks and the owner nowhere to be found.
According to Minden Police Capt. Marvin Garrett, 53-year-old Nadio Hassan Zeyad left town after learning police had recently conducted two successful undercover drug buys at his establishment and warrants had been issued for his arrest.
Zeyad was arrested July 1 as his flight from Israel landed at Newark Liberty International Airport.
"He was arrested on two counts of distribution of CDS Sch. I (Synthetic Cannabinoid)," Garrett said.
It is a chemical compound sometimes called "legal weed" or "spice," which can be smoked like marijuana.
Zeyad was arrested in March after officers executed a search warrant at the convenience store where it was alleged he had been selling the substance.
"He (Zeyad) had bonded out and was awaiting a trial date for the March arrest," Garrett said. "We conducted another undercover operation and made two more undercover buys, subsequently getting more warrants for his arrest."
Garrett said after warrants were issued on May 2, officers received information that Zeyad was no longer in the country.
"We looked for him here, with no luck finding him," Garrett said. "We put the warrants in NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and stated we would extradite him back here to face the new charges."
Once the information was in the computer system, Zeyad reportedly was tagged as "wanted" before his flight landed in New Jersey.
"Airport authorities were waiting for him when he got off the plane," Garrett said. "Then, they contacted us to say they had him in custody."
Zeyad reportedly signed the extradition papers, and he arrived in Minden at 2:44 a.m. Wednesday via U.S. Prisoner Transport Co.
Zeyad was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center later Wednesday and total bond on the two counts was set at $100,000.
Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said his officers will continue to conduct undercover buys at all local convenience stores.
"There are other stores selling this," Cropper said. "We are trying to make a point. We want them to understand that it's affecting our kids. There are kids across the country who are dying from using it. It's dangerous."
According to the law, a convicted distributor of the synthetic marijuana will receive not less than five years or more than 50 years in prison.
"On some of the packages, it says 'this product is legal,'" said Lt. Dan Weaver. "Businesses around here need to contact their local agencies because even though it says it's legal, in Louisiana, it's all illegal."