Convenience store owner arrested after 2 high school students overdose on 'Juicy'

Convenience store owner arrested after 2 high school students overdose on 'Juicy'
Convenience store where "Juicy" was sold (Source: WAFB)
Convenience store where "Juicy" was sold (Source: WAFB)

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - An owner of a convenience store in Denham Springs has been arrested after two Denham Springs High students overdosed on a liquid substance known as "Juicy" at school, according to police.

The two unidentified students smoked "Juicy" in a vaporizer pen and had to be taken to the hospital on Dec. 15, 2015. The students have recovered from the overdose, according to police.

On Jan. 4, narcotics officer investigating the incident discovered the substance was being sold in unlabeled bottles at Magnolia Express located at 2366 S. Range Avenue. Officers were able to make an undercover purchase from the gas station.

The substance was sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Two days later officers received the analysis from the Crime Lab stating that the substance was found to be butaldehydeamidoindolecarboxamide, which is a synthetic form of THC.

An undercover officer was then sent into the store to purchase another bottle of "Juicy." Officials with the Denham Springs Police Department say the owner, 36-year-old Essam M. Farhat, sold the substance to the officer and rang the sale up in the cash register. Officials with the Denham Springs Police Department say "Juicy" was rang up as a newspaper sale for a price of $30 to $80 each. The cash register was seized to see how many newspaper purchases were made for those amounts.

Detectives conducted a search warrant of the gas station and found 30 bottles of "Juicy" in a small hidden chest behind the register, and another 198 bottles hidden behind a fake wall inside the gas station.

Detectives seized 228 bottles of the illegal substance with an estimated street value of $13,680.00 and seized $16,797.20 in U.S. Currency.

Farhat was arrested and charged with 1 count of distribution of schedule 1 CDS and 228 counts of possession with intent to distribute schedule 1 CDS.

His original bond was set at $11.5 million, but Judge Robert Morrison III reduced Farhat's bond to $85,000 and has since bonded out.

The convenience store's alcohol and tobacco license has been temporarily suspended. A hearing with the ATC on Thursday at the State Police headquarters is scheduled to determine if the licenses will be permanently suspended.

The investigation included agents from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

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