Undercover buy leads to drug bust in Okmulgee County

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 5/10/2013 10:28 am Published: 5/09/2013 5:31 pm

Undercover law enforcement officers busted an Okmulgee County convenience store for selling synthetic drugs, such as K2, authorities said Thursday.

FOX23's Ian Silver found the store's owner said he didn't realize he was breaking the law.

The Okmulgee County District Attorney and Okmulgee County drug task force say after getting numerous complaints from people saying the Ezee Plus in Preston was selling synthetic marijuana products, they did an undercover buy.

After that, investigators got a search warrant and say they found multiple packets of drugs as well as drug paraphernalia.

Store owner Zia Rehman declined an interview.

But he told Silver he didn't realize he was breaking the law, because the laws regulating synthetic drugs are confusing.

He said he knows there is a list of chemicals that are banned in such products, but it's hard to keep up with which ones.

The ban list, passed in 2011, includes more than 200 chemicals.

But manufacturers continue finding ways to alter their products just enough to skirt the law.

Rehman said he never sold the products marked as incense to anyone age 18 or younger. He also said he never sold to anyone who said anything about smoking it and always reminded people it was not for human consumption.

But at some point, he said, he slipped up, prompting the investigation and subsequent bust.

Despite leaving messages and stopping by the Okmulgee County Courthouse, FOX23 was unable to get District Attorney Rob Barris, who spearheaded the bust, on camera to explain the investigation.

FOX23 tried requesting a copy of the search warrant or arrest report but was told they had not yet been filed with the court clerk.

Others around Preston said off camera that Rehman is a good guy, and it never appeared his business was attracting drug-using types.

Rehman said he plans to continue operating the Ezee Plus, but he's going to make sure synthetic pot products are no longer on his shelves.

Investigators say Rehman was selling real incense in the store for $1.99. The fake incense, the synthetic drug kind, was selling for about $25 per packet.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 5/9/2013 11:22 PM
1 Vote
The guy running the convenience store was very open and honest, but it is the DA and law enforcement that are being obtuse and furtive. That is very telling about their local politics.
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