Nadio’s owner arrested for selling synthetic marijuana
A local convenience store owner who was selling more than lunch to minors and adults was arrested Thursday by Minden Police following an undercover sting.
Nadio Hassan Zeyad, 52, of the 800 block of Broadway, has been charged with possession of CDS Sch. I (marijuana) and distribution of Naphthoylindole Synthetic Cannabinoid, a chemical compound sometimes called "legal weed," which can be smoked like marijuana.
Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper, narcotics officers Capt. Marvin Garrett, Lt. Dan Weaver, Sgt. Heath Balkom, Sgt. Chris Cheatham, Lt. Tim Morris, Sgt. Spencer Tippen, Officer 1st Class Danny Turner and canine officer Kash executed a search warrant around 1 p.m. at the convenience store, Nadio's, where Zeyad worked and lived.
"We get from five to 10 calls a week from parents upset about their kids being able to go into these convenience stores and buy this synthetic marijuana," said Cropper. "It's like a potpourri incense that is packaged in these small envelopes and sold for about $40 each."
Cropper said one of his officers purchased an envelope from Zeyad in an undercover buy. The compound was sent to the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab in Shreveport, where it tested positive for Schedule I (marijuana). The department obtained a warrant before making the arrest.
Lt. Weaver said the search turned up 16 envelopes in a cereal box in the back of the store. It will also be sent to the crime lab for testing.
"We found $14,370 in cash hidden in various places," Weaver said. "He also had a small amount of marijuana."
"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."
Weaver said a store owner has no way of knowing exactly what compound combination is in any one packet.
"There are eight chemical groups, and off each group, there are 10 to 60 different produced compounds in which all chemical groups and compounds are considered as controlled dangerous substances," he said. "You don't ever know what's in the bag. You (store owner) don't know what you are selling."
Capt. Garrett said he would hope that convenience store owners will understand the department is taking the sale of "legal weed" very seriously, and the undercover buys will continue.
"Any complaints we get will be investigated," Garrett said. "And the people selling this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent."
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.
Zeyad was booked at the Minden Police Department and transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center where he was being held under a $35,000 bond.
Two employees at the store were not arrested.