Nassau police: 5 arrested for illegally selling cannabis and THC chocolate bars at 2 smoke shops
Nassau police say multiple people were arrested after cannabis and THC infused chocolate bars were being illegally sold at two shops in the county.
Police say three people are accused of illegally selling the products at Da Smoke Spot at 230 Merrick Road in Oceanside.
The shop was shut down by the Town of Hempstead. The violation on the window indicates “illegal use,” but it’s unclear if that’s connected to the arrests.
The Narcotics/Vice Squad arrested 20-year-old Mariah Verbun, of Baldwin, 28-year-old Ryan Schweiker and 26-year-old Stephen Jensen, both from Lynbrook.
Grace Guasp, a nail salon owner who works next to Smoke Spot said she saw police outside all day prior to the arrests.
“When we walked outside, they confiscated everything. They were taking boxes and boxes into trucks,” she said.
Resident Diane DeResto was relieved to see the store’s doors padlocked and a violation notice from the Town of Hempstead on the window.
"I'm just so happy. For the past year and a half… It's been heartache,” she said.
People who live and work in the area have complained about issues in the parking lot behind the shop.
“Cars were broken into,” Guasp said.
“A lot of activity in the parking lot. There was a shooting,” DeResto said.
Authorities say an individual working at the counter was shot in the chest during that incident in March.
Nassau police also arrested two other people for similar accusations at the nearby Sam Smoke & Tobacco at 768 Merrick Road in Baldwin.
The suspects were identified as 24-year-old Ariel Mendoza from Brooklyn and 20-year-old Joshua Gruver from Oceanside.
The town also shut down that store.
Jason Russo, lawyer for the two Sam Smoke & Tobacco employees, told News 12 Long Island, "They know nothing about what is purchased or what is sold there. They're merely very young men who are just employed there to stock the shelves."
All the defendants were released by the judge on their own recognizance.