Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, joined by city officials, won a restraining order on Wednesday from a district court against the ST Smoke Shop, 9681 Bissonnet, to stop the sale of synthetic marijuana, an illegal drug known on the streets as “kush.”
After conducting undercover investigations at the store, Houston Police Department narcotics officers executed a search warrant and retrieved large quantities of kush as well as hash oil, codeine, and marijuana, which were hidden throughout the store, including in the bottom of a garbage can. Police arrested clerks Justin Finch and Dandy Chavez for possession of a controlled substance.
Judge Jeff Shadwick, presiding judge of the 55th Judicial District Court of Harris County, also ordered the store owners to engage two uniformed law enforcement officers for security at the store and close the store by 10 p.m. At final trial, the County Attorney will seek a permanent injunction to close the store location for one year.
The Bissonnet Corridor, a one-mile segment of Bissonnet between the Southwest Freeway and the Sam Houston Tollway, is well-known by law enforcement as a hot spot for prostitution and human trafficking as well as illegal drugs.
The civil action against ST Smoke Shop is part of an ongoing initiative of law enforcement, the Harris County Attorney’s Office, city officials, and the Southwest Management District to reduce crime along the Bissonnet Corridor. The Harris County Attorney’s Office has been working with the Southwest Management District since 2011 to improve neighborhoods by focusing on property where there is habitual criminal activity occurring.
“Kush has become an epidemic that must be stopped,” said County Attorney Ryan. “We will continue to attack the problem at its source—those who sell this dangerous drug.”