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Store owner charged with selling synthetic pot

The owner of a Muskegon, Michigan, novelty shop is facing a felony drug charges for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana. The 58-year-old man could face up to seven years' prison time, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

Authorities report the charges are related to an April 23 incident in which the man sold XLR11, a controlled substance. The store's clerks are currently not facing charges; officers report many of those workers believed the substance was a legal alternative to pot. Investigators say they intend to argue the store owner convinced the workers the substance was safe and legal, even though he knew otherwise.

News reports show the man was targeted by police last year after they received tips the store was selling the substance. The investigation intensified after several local residents overdosed on the drug. Officers report a raid on the man's store produced suspicious substances that have been sent to a laboratory for official testing.

Even though synthetic marijuana had been overlooked by the federal government's controlled substance list for some time, recent actions have banned the key component in most of these products. The drug, sold under names such as K2, Spice and Bizarro, has been deemed illegal by the federal government. This temporary change was made relatively recently, so many users may not realize the substances are actually illegal.

The store owner in this case may not have known the drugs he was selling were illegal. He is not automatically considered guilty simply because he has been charged with these drug crimes. With the proper criminal defense, an attorney can help the man negotiate all phases of the criminal process, from indictment to sentencing and beyond.

If you are facing drug charges, consider seeking the professional advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney. These lawyers can help you learn more about your legal rights and options as your trial and other courtroom appearances begin.

Source:  www.mlive.com, "Insani-T's owner charged with 7-year felony for allegedly selling synthetic pot" Heather Lynn Peters, May. 23, 2013