Smoke shops raided in drug paraphernalia bust

Seven Suffolk County delis and smoke shops were raided this week on suspicion they were selling drug paraphernalia. Included was the Shirley convenience store where the owner showed compassion for a would-be

News 12 Staff

Jun 4, 2009, 11:49 PM

Updated 5,526 days ago

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Seven Suffolk County delis and smoke shops were raided this week on suspicion they were selling drug paraphernalia. Included was the Shirley convenience store where the owner showed compassion for a would-be robber by giving him bread and money.
Mohammad Sohail, owner of Shirley Express Convenience, is facing civil penalties for allegedly knowingly selling paraphernalia for use with illegal drugs. Police took bongs, hookahs, drug screens and other products out of the store Tuesday night. Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota says undercover officers bought bongs three times while telling Sohail they would be used for smoking marijuana.
Sohail says he didn?t know he was doing anything wrong.
?A lot of people have it as decoration in the home or restaurant, decoration in a store - not only for just the bad things,? the store owner says.
Spota rebuffed that explanation.
?You smoke hash, marijuana or crack cocaine,? the district attorney said of one of the pipes seized. ?You don't decorate your house with this kind of stuff.?
The other stores raided were Gotham Smoke Shop locations in Middle Island and Huntington Station, Handy Dandy Food Store in Mastic Beach, Ocean Gas Station in Shirley, Bellport Quick Stop Deli in Bellport and Utopia in Centereach.
Police say they seized dozens of bongs, gravity knives and daggers from the Huntington Station Gotham Smoke Shop. Gotham's owner was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
Sohail and the other store owners face tens of thousands of dollars in fines if found guilty.


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