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Polk County Convenience Store Owner Charged With Selling Synthetic Marijuana

Ashraf Ali Abukhdeir of Tampa was charged in Polk County with selling synthetic marijuana out of his Winter Haven convenience store. Undercover Polk County sheriff's detectives arrested Abukhdeir after he allegedly sold them the synthetic marijuana K-2.

Detectives served a search warrant at the 34th Street Mart, seizing 32 packs of K-2, with brand names such as "Heads Up," "Maui Wowie," "Knockout," "Down2earth Climaxxx" and "620."

The investigation apparently began this month when detectives received information about the illegal use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards in the store. An undercover officer then purchased several items from Abukhdeir at the store, utilizing an illegal EBT card and PIN number, which Abukhdeir allegedly knew were illegal.

During the transaction, Abukhdeir told the detective that he had K-2 and marijuana, and that he sells K-2 to customers, according to law enforcement. Several undercover detectives then reportedly purchased K-2 and a small amount of marijuana from Abukhdeir.

Abukhdeir is charged with three counts of sale of imitation controlled substance; four counts of possession of imitation controlled substance with intent to sell; three counts of possession of imitation controlled substance; and one count each of possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, delivery of cannabis and maintaining a store for drug use/sales. He faces five years in prison on each of the sale and possession with intention to sell charges if convicted.

Abukhdeir was arrested March 27 on a charge of driving while his license was suspended or revoked, and on Hillsborough County warrants for driving while his license was suspended or revoked, failure to appear on the license charge, and failure to appear on a possession of cannabis charge. He bonded out the same day.

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