Glendale police put a big dent in the illegal sale of synthetic marijuana on Thursday. Detectives discovered a lab at a business that manufactured the drug.
The lab was inside the Pronto Mart convenience store near 59th Avenue and Missouri.
Police got a search warrant after getting a tip that spice was being made there -- and they found a huge operation inside.
From the outside, it's clear the store sells a lot of beer, but according to police, a store manager was selling something else -- synthetic marijuana -- also known as "spice."
"First of all, it's illegal to possess -- and it's certainly illegal to sell," said Glendale Police Sgt. Brent Coombs.
Coombs says investigators were tipped off by Arizona Tax Revenue officers who were performing an audit of the business.
"And once they got into that business -- into the back rooms -- they saw something that they were very suspicious of -- there were materials and chemicals that really sparked their interest and they knew they were dealing with some sort of a lab at that point," he said.
Detectives say they found 250 pounds of spice in a bin waiting to be packaged, along with approximately 6,000 small vials, ready to be sold.
"Already packaged vials -- with the product in its state that would make someone high. It's already been sprayed and packaged," said Coombs.
The spice had been sprayed with the chemical "A.K.B.", which is the illegal ingredient that gives users a high when it's smoked.
Investigators are still trying to find out how long the spice may have been packaged and sold out of the store, but just two weeks ago, state lawmakers passed a bill making any type of synthetic marijuana illegal.
"It's like when you manufacture methamphetamine. All the horrible things that go into manufacturing that's still in that stuff when you take it into your body," said Coombs.
The store manager, 39-year-old Abrahim Sayegh, admitted to buying spice from California, purchasing A.K.B. from China for the last six months, making the spice, selling it to other stores and online. He could be facing felonies for that crime.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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