published Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Second synthetic marijuana arrest for Dalton business owner

Dalton’s Police Department arrested three individuals on Wednesday for the sale of synthetic marijuana.

Dhansukh Chhaganlal Bhika, 63, owns the Discount Tobacco Food Mart on ML King, Jr. Boulevard in Dalton, and has previously been arrested and charged with selling synthetic marijuana from the business. In February, he was arrested and charged with selling synthetic marijuana from the store and investigators seized more than 1,300 packages of the drug and more than $80,000 in cash, according to a news release from Bruce Frazier public relations specialist for the Dalton Police Department.

Bhika was released on bond, and in May Dalton investigators received information that synthetic marijuana was still being sold from the business and they began a second investigation, according to the release.

Throughout the investigation, cooperating informants bought synthetic marijuana from Bhika and two others, Allen Martin Payne, 38, and Tiffany Ryane Fowler, 32. All three individuals were separately arrested on Wednesday.

Payne consented to the search of his house, and officers found a 9-millimeter handgun, drug paraphernalia, and a small quantity of marijuana. He was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval, possession of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the release.

Dalton officers also served an arrest warrant to Fowler. She was arrested after meeting an investigator and was in the possession of one package of synthetic marijuana when she was arrested. She has been charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval, possession of a schedule 1 drug, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA, according to the release.

Bhika was arrested at an outlet mall in Calhoun and was in the possession of one package of marijuana at the time of his arrest. He was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval, possession of a schedule 1 drug, and possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA, the release said.

Investigators also determined that Bhika had a storage unit in Bartow County where he stored the synthetic marijuana. Officials obtained a warrant, and investigators including the Department of Homeland Security, Bartow County-Cartersville Drug Task Task Force, and the Dalton Police Department seized more than 22 pounds of synthetic marijuana from the storage unit valued at approximately $100,000, according to the release.

The investigation is ongoing.

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