Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the City of Houston won a court order to shut down an East Crosstimbers convenience store in the ongoing battle against synthetic marijuana.
Earlier this year, County Attorney Ryan filed suit against the owners of the Brothers Meat Market at 3134 East Crosstimbers to stop the sale of synthetic marijuana. Narcotics officers with the Houston Police Department, working undercover, purchased synthetic marijuana hidden under the counter from the store clerk. The store clerk, Omar Jaber and one of the owners, Ali Jaber Faiz, were arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Synthetic marijuana, also called “Kush,” is a designer drug, typically manufactured overseas, that is marketed as a “safe” and “legal” alternative to marijuana. It is often marketed as harmless “potpourri” or “incense.” Synthetic marijuana is not marijuana at all but a dried leafy substance that is sprayed with powerful, added-in hallucinogenic chemicals that are dangerous and highly addictive to the user. It is often marketed to children, and is the second most abused drug by high school students, after marijuana itself. It is also illegal in Texas.
On Wednesday, December 13, Judge Grant Dorfman, presiding judge of the 334th District Court of Harris County, ordered the Brothers Market closed because of ongoing criminal activity on the premises and to remain closed until the time of final trial, which is scheduled for March 2017. There have been numerous calls about criminal activity at this store. In June, a woman was beaten and stripped of her clothes in the parking lot of the market, while bystanders looked on. Last year, two men were shot on the premises.
In October, the County Attorney filed suit against the KP Supermarket, also on East Crosstimbers, directly across the street from the Brothers market, for selling kush.
“This office will continue the fight to send the message to retail businesses that sell these powerful and dangerous drugs to our kids,” said County Attorney Ryan. “This practice will not be tolerated and we will pursue whatever legal means necessary to put a stop to it, including shutting down their business if necessary.”
Today’s filing is one of a series of civil actions taken by County Attorney Vince Ryan, in partnership with law enforcement and other agencies, using the state’s consumer protection laws to combat businesses that sell synthetic marijuana.
Click here to read the order for contempt.