Skip navigation links
Sheriff Grady Judd
News Room
Inside PCSO
Fugitives & Offenders
Careers
Animal Control
Citizen Info
Crime Prevention
Inquiries
Contact Us
Stop Graffiti
Skip navigation links
Crime Stoppers
CyberStar
HIDTA
News Releases
Other Files

PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wilder, Scott

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 11/18/2010 

 The Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the State Attorney (10th Judicial Circuit) announce arrests for sale of Imitation Controlled Substances related to products sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids: K2, "Spice," and others 


Sheriff Grady Judd announced today that the Polk County Sheriff's Office, working in cooperation with the State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit, arrested 12 people working at local Polk County stores who sold products containing synthetic cannabinoids to undercover detectives.  The arrests occurred over the last several days.  A warrant has been issued for another store employee who is out of state, for a total of 13 for this operation.   They are being charged with Possession and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), a third degree felony.  The substances, typically known as K2, Spice, or K3 (and other titles) contain herbs, spices, and various types of dried plant material sprayed with (chemical) synthetic cannabinoids. 

The products are informally marketed in stores as synthetic marijuana, and overtly marketed on the Internet as "synthetic marijuana."   These synthetic cannabinoid compounds are known by several different chemical names, including:  JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP 47/497, JWH-081, JWH-250, HU-211, HU-210, and other similar chemicals.  The products have been sold under various names and marketing gimmicks, including:  Mister Happy Time (with a smiley face on the package), K2-Grape, K2-Blue, K2-Pink, K2-Orange, K2-Pineapple, K2-Cloud Nine, K2-Blonde, K2-Crush, Spike Diamond, K3-Black Mamba, K3 Kryptonite, and K3-Dynamite.  Local prices for about 3 grams of product range from $10 to $20.   

Detectives make undercover buys  

Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives checked 268 stores in Polk County, beginning the first week of November, 2010.  256 stores were found to be in compliance with state law—not displaying or selling the synthetic cannabinoid products or drug paraphernalia.  Store personnel were asked by the undercover detectives if they could buy the “K2” products—the overwhelming majority of the stores told the detectives that they either never sold the products, or removed the products after the announcement that criminal enforcement would take place.  Nine stores in Polk County sold K2/Spice synthetic cannabinoid products to undercover PCSO detectives (3 of these stores sold K2 to PCSO underage Explorers).  The 9 stores are: 

7-Days Food Mart, 1123 6th Street, NW, Winter Haven (5 packets of K2 Spice—purchased by 16-year-old Sheriff’s Office Explorer)

My Deli Food Mart, 3250 Hwy 17/Lake Ida, Winter Haven (2 packets of K2 Spice)

Dundee Food Mart, 915 Dundee Road, Dundee (1 packet of K2 Kush—purchased by 17-year-old Sheriff’s Office Explorer.  An adult under cover detective also later purchased 4 packets of K2 Spice and 1 jar of “Mr. Nice Guy” and 1 packet of rolling papers.)

Sunoco Convenience Store, 1615 W. Memorial Blvd., Lakeland (1 jar of K-2 Spice and 1 packet of rolling papers)

ARKH Convenience Store, 3405 E. Main Street, Lakeland (1 jar of Red Magic and 1 jar of Blaze Spice)  

Low Ball Louie’s Tobacco Store, 7058 State Road 37, Mulberry (4 jars of K2 Spice, packet of rolling papers, a grinder, and a Hookah Bong)

Sunoco Store, 3230 Hwy 98 N., Lakeland (10 packets of Mr. Nice Guy Spice)

Stop & Save, 585 West Clower Street, Bartow (2 packets of K2 Spice and 1 packet of K3 Spice, 1 grinder and blunt wraps)

Grab and Go Food Mart (Chevron), 558 N. 5th St., Eagle Lake (1 packet K2 Kush—purchased by 16-year-old Sheriff’s Office Explorer) 

Those 12 arrested plus one arrest warrant issued (total 13) are: (all addresses provided are based on PCSO Booking Information and Florida Driver’s License information): 

Avinash Jnananand (owner), 3906 Osprey Pointe Circle, Winter Haven, DOB: 05/16/1972; charged with two counts each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, and Resisting Arrest without Violence; worked at 7-Days Food Mart, 1123 6th Street, NW, Winter Haven (Jnananand sold K2 to a PCSO 16-year-old Explorer) 

Mariana Hernandez (owner), 618 Chadbury Way, Kissimmee, DOB 06/05/1968; Teodoro De Jesus Hernandez (arrest warrant issued, believed to be out of state), 618 Chadbury Way, Kissimmee, DOB 05/18/1965; both charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; worked at My Deli Food Mart, 3250 Hwy 17, Winter Haven 

Kamlesh C. Patel (owner), 2330 Colony Club Dr., Lakeland, DOB 09/08/1958; charged with two counts each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; and one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; worked at Dundee Food Mart, 915 Dundee Road (Hwy 542), Dundee (Patel sold K2 to a 17-year-old PCSO Explorer) 

Mirzali Lakhani (owner), 9455 Swift Creek Circle, Dover, DOB 10/6/60; Nazeema Lakhani, 12011 Royce Waterford Circle, Tampa, DOB 7/7/65; both charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; and one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; worked at Sunoco Convenience Store, 1615 W. Memorial Blvd., Lakeland 

Ketan Chitroda, 2925 Delrose Drive, N., Lakeland, DOB 10/01/1980; charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; worked at ARKH Convenience Store, 3405 E. Main Street, Lakeland 

Tammi Rena Siegfried (owner), 14149 Eden Isle Blvd., Windermere, DOB 05/17/1975; Mary Louise Roche, 3455 Sandpiper Lane, Mulberry, DOB 10/13/1951; Ladonna Sue Bates, 8007 Apache Trail, Lakeland, DOB 11/30/1967; all are charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; and one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; worked at Low Ball Louie’s Tobacco Store, 7058 State Road 37, Mulberry 

Thomas K Alummootil (owner), 6253 Kingbird Manor Dr., Lithia, DOB 04/30/1965; charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; and one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; worked at Stop & Save, 585 West Clower Street, Bartow 

Munir Issa Alnobani, 2100 Clover Ridge Court, Eagle Lake, DOB 10/21/1965; charged with one count each of Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance and Sale of an Imitation Controlled Substance (Florida Statue 817.564), F3; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; worked at Grab and Go Food Mart (Chevron), 558 N. 5th St., Eagle Lake (Alnobani sold K2 to a PCSO 16-year-old Explorer) 

On October 26th, 2010, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Haines City Police Chief Rick Sloan, and representatives of the State Attorney’s Office announced imminent investigations related to the illegal sale of synthetic cannabinoids in Polk County.  Sheriff Judd stated at the news briefing that it was important to provide “fair warning” to local merchants about enforcement efforts because wholesalers of the K2 products were representing them as legal to sell. 

The following statement was released on October 26th, 2010: 

"These synthetic marijuana products are not just being sold to adults throughout Polk County, they are routinely sold to our kids," said Sheriff Judd.  "K2, Spice, or whatever this stuff is packaged as, is being sold as incense or potpourri, but the sellers clearly know it is being smoked with the purpose of getting high.  Because the wholesalers are telling retail stores that it is ‘legal' to sell this drug, we are providing this warning to stores in Polk County:  stop selling this product today, or you will be arrested for selling an imitation controlled substance, a third degree felony."

During the K2 investigation detectives also arrested 5 other people for the Possession and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia (F3) at 3 additional stores.  The stores and those arrested are: 

One Stop Food Mart, 2998 Hwy 17-92, Haines City (several glass and plastic pipes); Md Hasan, 333 Heartland PL, Mulberry, DOB 03/01/1979; charged with two counts each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia

BP Gas Station, 4718 Hwy 98 N., Lakeland (2 grinders and 2 glass pipes); Jamal Zayyad (owner), 7944 Sugar Pine Blvd., Lakeland, DOB 10/18/1979; charged with two counts each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia Robert B. Johns, 4517 Williamstown Blvd, Lakeland, DOB 06/03/1987; charged with one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia, and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Ariana Food Mart, 1202 Ariana Street, Lakeland (2 Grinders, pipe, and scale); Shahidur Rahman, 1314 Banbury Loop, Lakeland, DOB 01/01/1970; charged with one count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Sale of Drug Paraphernalia 

“We are going to continue to enforce state law.  Those who sell K2 Spice or any product containing synthetic cannabinoids will be arrested and taken to jail.”  —Sheriff Grady Judd

More information about K2/Spice: 

"The compounds in Spice work on the brain in the same way as marijuana's active ingredient THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Both JWH compounds bind to the CB1 receptors, which primarily affect the central nervous system." –"Information on Spice" Scientific Evidence of its Pharmacological Effect, Office of Drug Policy, Oregon.   

The Missouri Poison Center has identified more than 25 cases of youth (ranging in ages from 14 to 21 years old) who, after smoking K2, presented to emergency departments with the following adverse symptoms: agitation, anxiety, tachycardia, hypertension, vomiting, and hallucinations.  ("K2: Coming Soon to your ER," Missouri Poison Center).  K2 and other synthetic cannabinoids represent a danger to those smoking the unregulated ingredients—there are no short or long-term studies related to determining whether or not there are any adverse health effects of smoking these products. 

No regulations exist regarding the sale of, safety, or contents of "K2/Spice" and similar products—there is no requirement to list packaging contents or ingredient amounts because the product purports that it is "not for human consumption."  Researchers have observed that when smoked, synthetic cannabinoids can deliver a high similar to marijuana.  Consumption of synthetic cannabinoids causes impairment of human motor skills and changes the ability of a person to perceive, reason, and understand. According to University of Florida Pharmacologist Dr. Tonia Werner, the synthetic cannabinoid chemicals found in K2 have "psychotropic effects which can cause motor impairment and changes in their cognition."  Physical withdrawal and dependence syndrome have also been observed after repeated consumption of "Spice."  Organic chemist John W. Huffman, who developed the "JWH" compounds as a part of research related to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, is quoted as saying "People who use it are idiots..." and "It's like playing Russian roulette.  You don't know what it's going to do to you…you're a potential winner of a Darwin award" (referring to mock awards given to people who do very unwise things thereby ‘removing themselves from the gene pool') (www.msnbc.com, and www.foxnews.com).   

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported in September of 2010, that synthetic cannabinoids, or "fake marijuana," spurred more than 1,500 calls to U.S. Poison Control Centers in the United States (1,503 calls from January, 2010 through September 27, 2010).  As of October, 2010, 13 U.S. States and 17 Countries have banned synthetic cannabinoids.  Some cities and counties have passed local ordinances to ban the products.  A number of state health-related boards have determined that synthetic cannabinoids present a risk to public health (Oregon, Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, and others).  Legislation is being proposed for the Florida 2011 legislative session to classify synthetic cannabinoids such as K-2 as an illegal narcotic.