Exeter Shop Owners Face Charges Again

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State prosecutors have re-filed charges against an Exeter head shop and its owners two months after a judge threw out a case alleging they were illegally selling synthetic marijuana.

Alfonse Richard Palaima, 65, and his wife, Sharleen Palaima, 62, both of 197 Division St., Hughestown, are charged with running a corrupt organization, conspiring to distribute a controlled substance, dealing with the proceeds of illegal activities and drug distribution.

Their business, Magikal Gardens at 1174 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, is also charged criminally with drug distribution and dealing in the proceeds of illegal activities.

All three were previously charged with similar offenses, but Magisterial District Judge Joseph J. Carmody dismissed all counts following a preliminary hearing Oct. 2.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/exeter-shop-owners-face-charges-again-1.1598022

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Judge: Pottstown Merchant Peddled ‘Death’ When He Sold K2

NORRISTOWN — Saying a Pottstown merchant peddled death when he sold synthetic marijuana from his downtown convenience store, a judge sent the man to state prison.

Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he operated at 315 E. High Street between February and May 2012, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Tuesday to seven to 14 years in a state correctional facility.

“He’s no different than a drug dealer, pure and simple,” said Judge Steven T. O’Neill, referring to Ali’s decision to sell the dangerous substance in a community that has waged a battle against drug dealers and addiction. “The nature of what was sold in that store destroys the fabric of a community. You engaged in danger in a community that doesn’t need it, doesn’t need any more drug dealers.”

Ali, who apologized for his conduct before learning his fate, remained solemn as the punishment was imposed.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131126/judge-pottstown-merchant-peddled-death-when-he-sold-k2

Key Player In Synthetic-Pot Ring May Be On The Run

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week after raiding a corner grocery store in southeast Reading, city police are still looking for its owner, whom they said is a central figure in a ring that manufactured and distributed synthetic marijuana.

Eric Cintron, 22, of the 8000 block of Allentown Pike, Maidencreek Township, was charged Oct. 24 with possessing K2, or synthetic marijuana, and conspiring to manufacture and distribute the drug, risking a catastrophe and other counts.

Investigators said Cintron is considered the owner of Cotton Street Mini Market at 14th and Cotton streets, which police raided Oct. 25 along with Cintron’s residence and two other locations.

They said they believe Cintron has fled the area.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517936

Police Arrest Four In Reading As Part Of Synthetic Pot Investigation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading police and Berks County detectives Thursday morning raided a corner grocery store and several other locations as part of an investigation of a large synthetic marijuana manufacturing and distribution operation based in the city.

Four individuals – Brandon Miranda, 24, Maria Garcia-Ortiz, 25, Isuain Alvarado-Rosado, 34, and Orlando Alvarado-Rosado, 32 – were charged with felony drug charges and taken into custody. Their addresses were not immediately available. Jesus Medina, 32, of the 2200 block of Hampden Boulevard, and Eric Cintron, 33, of the 8000 block of Allentown Pike were also charged but remained at large.

Investigators seized a large amount of K2, the common name for synthetic pot, and the chemicals to make the hallucinogenic drug, said Lt. Jeffrey Parr, acting commander of the city police criminal investigations division. The estimated street value of the K2 seized is about $100,000.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517263

Pittston Couple Charged With Selling Synthetic Pot

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST PITTSTON, PA — The owners of an Exeter smoke shop were arraigned Wednesday on charges they sold synthetic marijuana, racking up as much as $5,000 in sales a day, according to arrest papers.

The state Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation allege Sharleen Palaima, 62, and her husband, Alfonse Richard Palaima, 64, of Division Street, Pittston, sold synthetic marijuana from their business, Magikal Garden, on Wyoming Avenue from March 2012 through the end of July 2012.

Magikal Garden was one of many retail smoke stores and gasoline service stations across the state raided on July 26, 2012, in Operation Artificial High, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, state police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The searches resulted in the seizure of more than 300,000 doses of synthetic marijuana and illegal bath salts, with an estimated street value of $1.25 million, and more than 50,000 pieces of drug paraphernalia related to the smoking or consumption of synthetic drugs, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/824132/Pittston-couple-charged-with-selling-synthetic-pot

Ex-Pottstown Merchant Convicted Of Selling K2

NORRISTOWN — A former Pottstown store operator is the first merchant in Montgomery County to be convicted at trial under a recently enacted law of distributing synthetic marijuana from a business.

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.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130614/NEWS01/130619553/ex-pottstown-merchant-convicted-of-selling-k2#full_story

Pottstown Crash Deaths Focus Shifts To Drug Sale

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — The investigation into a Monday night crash that killed two people and critically injured a third shifted Thursday to a downtown store that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana to one of the crash victims.

According to court documents obtained exclusively by The Mercury Thursday, members of Pottstown’s Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 315 and 317 E. High St., which houses a convenience store called the Achi Store.

As investigators were searching Tuesday for Roger Tracey Malloy, 27, of 303 N. York St., Pottstown, the driver in the fatal wreck, authorities learned that one of Malloy’s passengers, 16-year-old Kendall Harper, of Pottstown, had purchased K2, or synthetic marijuana, from the Achi Store, according to court papers filed seeking the warrant.

According to court papers, authorities learned in their investigation that Malloy has been smoking K2 and drinking before the crash occurred.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120525/NEWS01/120529577/search-warrant-for-drugs-served-on-pottstown-store-&pager=full_story