The owner of East Greenwich Farm, a mini-mart at 360 Main St., was arrested Wednesday afternoon for selling synthetic marijuana to an undercover police officer. Police swept into the store at about 2:15 p.m., cordoning off the parking lot.
Rakeshkumar Patel was brought out of the store at 3:55 p.m. and taken to the police station. He faces one charge of delivery of a controlled substance.
“We launched an investigation about six months ago regarding synthetic marijuana and other narcotics being sold out of the store,” said Detective Sgt. Jon Chirnside.
About a dozen officers were involved in Wednesday’s arrest. Patel was the only employee in the store at the time of the raid.
Chirnside said police received several tips from customers and neighbors that prescription drugs and synthetic marijuana were being sold from the store but the raid did not turn up either item. The arrest stems from a purchase made about six weeks ago. Purchases were made over the counter, Chirnside said.
“Someone would typically come in and say, ‘Can I get a bag? Can I get one?’ The clerk would then remove the item from behind the counter, hand it to the customer and make the transaction,” he said.
Patel will be arraigned in 3rd District Court. Chirnside said the investigation would continue he did not anticipate making any other arrests.
Synthetic marijuana is often marketed as “herbal incense” or “herbal smoking blend” and is sometimes referred to as K2. In 2012, the federal government banned the synthetic compounds found in synthetic marijuana, classifying them as Schedule 1 drugs, those considered most dangerous.