by PJ Rooks
Police say approximately 35 boxes of evidence, including illegal drug analogues and numerous pieces paraphernalia, were recovered Tuesday afternoon during a search of The Tobacco Place at 200 Branch Street in Platte City.
Platte City Police Sergeant Robert Newman said that a total of 12 law enforcement officials from Platte City, the Missouri Department of Revenue and the county’s drug task force and CyberCrimes units entered The Tobacco Store at 12:45 Tuesday afternoon with a search warrant.
Police say they found numerous packages of incense products that mimic the effects of marijuana as well as ZigZag rolling papers, glass smoking pipes, hookas and grinders associated with marijuana use. California Blueberry Kush and Kansas Cherry Kush in one- and three-gram packages were among the substances recovered, along with Vanilla Meltdown, Chocolate Meltdown, Pomegranate Meltdown, Blueberry Meltdown and another substance called Syn-Lite.
The dollar value of the recovered items is not yet known and Newman said that the involvement of the Missouri Department of Revenue was related to the proper stamping of wholesale merchandise also available for purchase at the store.
Regarding the recovered items, Newman said, “I can’t tell you the numbers. We’ve got tons of packages.”
Law enforcement officials, he said, were continuing to go through the items during the overnight hours. The search of the store went on until about 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Newman described the items as synthetic incense which, as analogues of controlled substances, are illegal and addressed by Missouri Revised Statute 195.022 which states that “a controlled substance analogue shall, to the extent intended for human consumption, be treated, for the purposes of any state law, as a controlled substance in schedule I.”
CannabisSearch.com describes Blueberry Kush plant as an “offspring of (the) 2000 First Place High Times Cannabis Cup Winner,” and states that it, “tastes very fruity, with a noticeable Kush taste, and a smooth exhale. The effects are immediate, but beware, the intensity of this powerful Indica-dominant builds until it finally climaxes at a blissful, peaceful, but intoxicating state of mental and physical medication. This is a munchie-inducer in every sense of the word. Great for pain relief, insomnia, loss of appetite, and many more ailments.”
The Tobacco Store obtained a distributor’s license in October, 2010 and opened its storefront in January, 2011. Newman said that the search was a joint effort of the agencies named above and that they’d had traffic stops that revealed purchases from the store. Undercover agents from the county’s drug task force had made purchases from the store as well, said Newman, and Tuesday’s search had been in the works since April, 2011 -- roughly four months after the store opened.
After law enforcement officials checked employees for outstanding warrants, three of the store’s four employees on duty left. The manager remained at the location with police. The owners of the store were not present at the time of the search but will be given copies of the search warrant and the inventory of the search, Newman said. Their names have not been released.
Newman said the investigation is an ongoing case and he did not yet know if any charges will be filed. The business, however, is currently closed.