Feds Raid Local Tobacco Shops
Nearly two dozen federal agents raided two local tobacco shopsÂ Thursday looking for drug paraphernalia. The special agents say the owners of "Modern Age Tobacco" shops were the only stores in town that were part of the bust.
Immigration Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) --who are part of Homeland Security-- spent hours seizing glass pipes and other products they say are meant for drug use.
Owner Derryl Watkins says the store was raided once before in 1990, and that he has been unfairly singled out. In the raid 16 years ago approximately $140,000 of merchandise was taken.
"They seized about $300,000 of what they call drug paraphernalia. I do not call drug paraphernalia, it's all tobacco accessories. we do not sell drug paraphernalia to no one," said Watkins today.
Public Information Officer for agency, Barbara Gonzalez, said from her Miami office, the owner was in violation of Article 21, section 863, which prohibits the sale of drug paraphernalia.
No charges have been made against the store owner, and no one has been arrested. Today's bust, agents say, is a part of a larger on-going investigation.
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