Dalton police arrest 3 in synthetic pot bust - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dalton police arrest 3 in synthetic pot bust

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -

Three people have been arrested for the sale of synthetic marijuana in Dalton, and more than 22 pounds of synthetic marijuana were seized by police.

The Dalton Police Department arrested:

  • Dhansukh Chhaganlal Bhika, 63
  • Allen Martin Payne, 36
  • Tiffany Ryane Fowler, 32

The investigation, spanning several months, was centered on the Discount Tobacco Food Mart business in Dalton, owned by Bhika.

Earlier this month, detectives obtained a search warrant for the store and found more than 100 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than 30 containers of a liquid form of synthetic marijuana that can be consumed using vapor pens or E-cigarettes.

In February, Bhika was arrested and charged with selling synthetic marijuana from his business. Investigators seized more than 1,300 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than $80,000 in cash.  Bhika has since been free on a bond. 

Dalton police say cooperating informants bought synthetic marijuana from Bhika, Payne and Fowler, at the ML King, Jr. Boulevard store and at other locations.

Bhika was arrested during a meeting at an outlet mall in Calhoun. He had packages of synthetic marijuana in his possession and has been charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of a schedule 1 drug (synthetic marijuana), and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.

Investigators learned Bhika had a storage unit in Bartow County, where they found a large quantity of synthetic marijuana. The Bartow County-Cartersville Task Force, Dalton Police Department, and Homeland Security seized more than 22 pounds of synthetic marijuana from the storage unit, which is valued at approximately $100,000.

Fowler was arrested and found with one package of synthetic marijuana. She has been charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of a schedule 1 drug (synthetic marijuana), possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime.

Wednesday, Dalton police served an arrest warrant on Payne, who consented to a search of his residence. Officers found a 9mm handgun, drug paraphernalia, and a small quantity of marijuana. Payne was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

The investigation is ongoing.

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