Thursday, January 5, 2017

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Two arrested for sales of synthetic marijuana in Newburgh store

NEWBURGH – Two men were arrested in Newburgh and charged with illegally selling synthetic marijuana and violating state tax law.

State and local authorities raided Manhattan Deli at 212 Broadway in Newburgh last Friday and seized 111 packets of suspected synthetic marijuana. Investigators also found forged cigarette stamps, unstamped cigarettes, marijuana and an illegal weapon.  Samples of the seized products were analyzed by the state Health Department and tested positive for six synthetic cannabinoids. As a result, the state shut down the store.

Possession of synthetic marijuana, also known as K-2, is a health code violation, District Attorney David Hoovler noted.

“It is extremely powerful; it is unpredictable the effect it will have on individuals and it is very dangerous for teenagers and young adults whose brains haven’t completely developed yet,” Hoovler said. “They are not going to get the type of high they think they are going to get. It is very unpredictable and it’s very dangerous. It’s a health hazard.”

Arrested were the store owner, Hemyar Almaflehi, 28, of Walden, and the store clerk, Omar Nagi, 22, of Newburgh.   Both men were charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument for forged cigarette stamps, possession of unstamped cigarettes for sale, criminal possession of marijuana and 111 counts of violations to the state health department’s regulation banning possession of synthetic cannabinoids substances.

Hoovler said his office “will use every means at our disposal to prevent businesses from endangering the public and encouraging addiction through the sale of synthetic drugs.”

Newburgh City Police Lieutenant Richard Carrion said drugs, including synthetic ones, “destroy the fabric of communities and are a major contributor to the violence that affects the safety of our citizens.”

The State Police community Narcotics Enforcement Team – Hudson Valley, State Department of Taxation and Finance, and State Department of Health assisted Newburgh Police and the DA’s Office in the investigation.


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