Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he helped operate at 315 E. High Street between February and May 2012, appeared stone-faced Thursday as a county jury convicted him of charges of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and conspiring with another man to commit those crimes. The jury deliberated about 2½ hours before reaching its verdict.
The arrest and trial of Ali marked the first time that a store operator was charged in the county with selling synthetic marijuana, known as K2, under a state law that went into effect in August 2011 and criminalized such activity.
“After that law went into effect it was publicized heavily that synthetic cannabinoids are illegal. In this case these individuals decided to get around that by hiding the K2 substances behind the counter and selling it. It’s a matter of greed, trying to make money off of…a toxic substance,” said First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.