Two metro-east liquor store owners were charged Friday for selling banned synthetic drugs.
The store owners of Dupo Fuel Mart and Bedwan Incorporated Max's One Stop were charged with felony and misdemeanors related to the ongoing effort to combat synthetic drugs often referred to a "K2" or "bath salts."
"Law enforcement is getting these dangerous drugs off the shelves by any means we can under the law," said St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly. "Where it's appropriate to work with businesses, we will. Where the evidence and threat demand aggressive prosecution, that's what we'll do. Either way, these dangerous synthetic drugs must be removed."
Mahmoud Bedwan, 27, of Belleville, who owns Max's One Stop, was charged with the following: unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, unlawful possession with intent to distribute a look-alike substance, sale of drug paraphernalia, permitting the unlawful use of a building, maintaining a public nuisance and offering for sale a misbranded article.
James Thevary, 54, of St. Louis, who owns Dupo Fuel Mart Inc., was charged with the following: unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, unlawful possession with intent to distribute a look-alike substance, sale of drug paraphernalia, permitting unlawful use of a building, maintaining a public nuisance and offering for sale a misbranded article.
Bond was set for Thevary and Bedwan at $500,000 each. Both cases were investigated by the Metro East Enforcement Group of Southern Illinois.
In addition, six other retail establishments agreed to surrender items seized during the execution of search warrants in April and committed to ensuring no synthetic drugs or items resembling synthetic drugs would be available for purchase.
The following establishments signed a synthetic drug community protection agreement: Belleville Food Mart, 1424 Centerville Avenue, Belleville; Sweitzer's Stop and Go Liquor, 8700 Collinsville Road, Collinsville; Belleville West Discount Cigarettes, 6007 West Main, Belleville; Cheap Cigarettes and Tobacco, 314 Sherman Avenue, Belleville; Cahokia Liquor, 527 State Route 3, Cahokia; Jimmy Roy's Incorporated, 9221 Beller Road, Mascoutah; and Sunshine Daydream, 4618 North Illinois, Fairview Heights.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.