Alabaster store owner arrested for selling synthetic drugs

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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Shelby County authorities arrested and charged the owner of A&S Food Mart, Inc. for the second time in the past year.

Ali Reza Samanifar, 56, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Hoover, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

He’s charged with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Samanifar’s arrest comes after undercover investigators purchased illegal synthetic drugs at his store in Alabaster.

He was previously arrested on May 24, 2014 and charged with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

“Synthetic cannabinoids continue to be a growing concern for law enforcement because the manufacturers target teenagers and young adults,” said Lt. Turner with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. “Synthetic cannabinoids are not a legal form of marijuana; they are a controlled substance that can cause side effects that range from hallucinations to loss of consciousness, and there have been instances in which overdose deaths have been reported. Although Project Synergy Phase II is complete, the Drug Task Force will continue to pursue manufacturers and distributors.”

Wednesday’s arrest comes after a four-month investigation involving the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force (SCDETF) worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), and Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) as a part of Project Synergy Phase II.

Samanifar is being held in the Shelby County Jail on $45,000 bond.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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