Story by: James Buechele
"I wouldn't want it in my neighborhood cause I've heard the damage that it would do to you," said Filmore Wester.
The Havana native stops at Kelly's Junior #5 on Havana Highway in Gadsden County on his way to and from Quincy.
When we told him this location as well as the Country Store on Bainbridge Highway were part of a five month investigation involving synthetic marijuana, he was shocked.
"I never thought they was doin' that here but I know they had good business here but I always thought through pick up cigarettes or soda or something."
FDLE arrested Karime Halim, 55, and her son Wesem Halim, 24, on charges of felony possession of synthetic marijuana as well as possession of a firearm.
The street value of the drugs were estimated at more than $20,000. They also collected $60,000 worth of currency and firearms.
"What's scary is that these drugs are being sold at some convenient stores often times under the counter," said FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger.
According to FDLE, 30 Floridians died in the first six months of 2013 from spice.
"The big thing is to get to these suppliers."
And Wester hopes these types of drug busts continue near his home.
"I'm happy because I got kids and I got grandkids."
FDLE Press Release
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tallahassee Regional Operations Center arrested Karime Hasan Halim and Wesem Mahmud Halim after a four month long investigation into synthetic marijuana being sold at Kelly’s JR #5, 843 Havana Hwy., Quincy, Fla. and The Country Store, 5667 Bainbridge Hwy., Quincy, Fla.
FDLE Agents, in conjunction with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, DBPR’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms served a search warrant at the convenience stores yesterday and seized 802 bags of synthetic marijuana with a street value of $20,500. Investigators also seized $60,000 in currency, firearms and counterfeit designer apparel.
Karime and Wesem Halim were each arrested yesterday on charges of felony possession of synthetic narcotics with intent to sell, manufacture, deliver and use or display of a firearm during commission of a felony. Both were booked into the Gadsden County Jail on $50,000 bond.
The Office of the State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.
Synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice, is dried plant material with psychoactive chemicals added. Often marketed to Florida’s youth, these dangerous drugs are powerful stimulants. Synthetic drugs killed 30 Floridians in the first six months of 2013, the latest reported numbers in the Florida Medical Examiners Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons report.