Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Commander Phil Price said agents arrested the Texaco station’s owner, Karim Kabiroodin Damani, 37, of Marietta, and employee Jesus Ortiz Cisneros, 31, of Canton.
Damani and Cisneros were each charged with possession and intent to distribute a Schedule 1 substance after officers found 22 packages of synthetic marijuana there Wednesday morning, Price said Thursday.
The station is on Riverstone Parkway in Canton.
Price said his squad received reports from residents and other law enforcement agencies, accusing the gas station of selling synthetic drugs.
“We’ve had complaints in regards to the business, but we never had anything specific enough,” the commander said.
But after several months of looking into the claims and an undercover investigation, Price said CMANS got the search warrant.
Price said synthetic marijuana products like those found at the Canton gas station have been illegal since March 2012, when Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 370, known as the Synthetic Marijuana Bill, into law.
“The sale of these substances is highly lucrative,” Price said. “It is tempting for businesses to get involved in this illegal activity.”
Price said the 22 packages of synthetic marijuana found Wednesday in Canton could have fetched up to $1,100 on the street.
Damani and Cisneros were released from custody later Wednesday on $11,200 bond each, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
CMANS is a collaborative agency made up of officers and investigators from law enforcement agencies around Cherokee County.
The Canton Police Department and Cherokee County Marshal’s Office also aided in the search Wednesday, Price said.