BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Investigators said four people were arrested and almost 250 pounds of synthetic marijuana was seized after two smoke shops in Baton Rouge were raided Thursday.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office reported the following arrests:
Tim Nguyen, 39
Tien Hoang, 33
Vangades Chew, 38
Khatara Smith, 24
Bond has not been set for any of the suspects.
Officials said EBRSO narcotics agents, K-9 units and members of the Special Community Anti-Crime Team (SCAT) executed a search warrant at The Lotus on O'Neal Lane. Authorities said the search yielded about 218 pounds of synthetic marijuana and cash.
Note: The Lotus on O'Neal Lane is not associated with The Lotus Gallery on College Drive and is not associated with the store named the Burning Lotus Tattoo.
They added Nguyen, the owner of the shop, arrived at the scene while the search was happening. His vehicle was searched and more money was reportedly found. Investigators said he admitted to having more synthetic marijuana and money at his apartment. Deputies said he also gave consent to search where he lived. They reported documentation of sales, synthetic marijuana and more than $34,000 was found.
Nguyen and Hoang were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of distribution of synthetic marijuana. Nguyen also faces a charge of possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana.
EBRSO officials also searched the Fun Times Shop on Hewwood Avenue. They reportedly found more than 21 pounds of synthetic marijuana, a stolen gun, more than $1,200 and equipment believed to be used to conduct illegal business.
According to deputies, a .40 caliber Glock 22 was discovered under the register. They said a check on the gun showed the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office had a report indicating it had been stolen. Deputies said they also found a heat sealing machine and a digital recorder set up to record all rooms in the shop.
Chew and Smith were booked into the parish prison on the following charges:
Distribution of synthetic marijuana
Possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana
Illegal possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance
Possession of a stolen firearm
Chew faces an added charge of possession of Adderall.
The investigation is ongoing.
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