Clearwater food mart busted for selling spice

Clearwater, Florida -- A Clearwater food mart, less than a mile from an elementary school, was busted for selling synthetic marijuana despite repeated warnings from the sheriff's office to stop selling it to customers.

While executing a search warrant at High Point Food Mart on 150th Avenue North, Pinellas Sheriff's deputies arrested the store's clerk, Edward Watkins, after they discovered he had just sold 60-year-old Kenneth Clark a package of K-2. The store's owner, 54-year-old Nageswara Chapalamadugu, was also arrested. Clark was arrested for possession.

Investigators say the store was hiding the "spice" out of view, behind the counter and under the pizza warmer. Some of the "spice" sold had cartoon characters on the product packaging and appeared to be marketed to children. The product was also, at times, purchased with EBT cards and sold as a grocery item and were taxed.

Detectives say the convenience store was sent eight warning letters, however between Jan. 29 and March 16, the store sold undercover detectives K-2 four times -- and again on March 25.


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