By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
A local convenience store was temporarily shut down and one individual was arrested Tuesday afternoon for the sale and distribution of the illegal drug K2.
The Campbell Store/Valero Station on Highway 50 just north of I-30 was shut down by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office after they served a narcotics search warrant at approximately 3:30 p.m. The store will be closed while the Sheriff’s Office searches the business for other illegal drugs and contraband.
“I know that many folks trade at this store and drink coffee there and are unaware of the illegal activities that have been transpiring at this location,” Sheriff Randy Meeks said. “This drug is 10 times stronger than regular marijuana. We are getting reports that several of our young people are experimenting with K2. Further details will be released at a later date.”
Sukhwinder Singh, 47 of Greenville, was the person arrested Tuesday at the Campbell Store.
He was charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance penalty group 2 over one ounce and under four ounces. His bond was set at $50,000 by District Judge Steve Tittle.
Several bags of what appeared to be K2, items used to smoke the drug and currency were seized by authorities.
“The search warrant and subsequent arrest were the result of an undercover operation carried on by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office,” Meeks said. “I am very certain that there will be other arrests and possibly more charges filed because of this raid. Once again, the sale of illegal drugs will not be tolerated in Hunt County. I don’t know how to make it any clearer than to continue to arrest and put out of operation these drug dealers. Hopefully, the word will get out that there is zero tolerance for this type of activity in Hunt County.”
K2 is often marketed as incense or potpourri, and, while no scientific studies have been completed on the drug’s long-term effects, it can have devastating consequences, such as seizures, hallucinations and elevated heart rates.
The exact chemical makeup of K2 changes to skirt challenges to its legality, preliminary research has shown, making it difficult for law enforcement to crack down on sales of the drug.
Fighting the production and distribution of the product is difficult, county law enforcement officials say, because it is virtually undetectable in drug tests and many stores in Hunt County have continued to sell it.
In Sept. 2012, three people were arrested by local law enforcement after a search warrant was issued for Budz Smoke Shop, located on State 34 in the Cash community. K2 and another synthetic drug, bath salts, were seized in the raid. Headshops in Commerce openly marketed the product before it was declared illegal.