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Published December 02 2010

Synthetic pot, cash stolen at gunpoint from Mother's Music

The owner of Mother’s Music in Moorhead told police he was held at gunpoint as at least one robber stole cash and synthetic marijuana from the store Tuesday night.

Moorhead police Lt. Tory Jacobson said Brady Bredell told police at least one male entered the store’s unlocked front door wearing a black knit mask and displaying a handgun.

Bredell told police he cooperated with the robber’s commands by lying on the floor while the suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash and packages of synthetic marijuana labeled as incense, Jacobson said.

A police K-9 unit tried unsuccessfully to track the suspect, he said.

The robbery, which was reported at 10:09 p.m. at 431 Main Ave., remains under investigation.

A store employee who declined to give his name said the store usually closes at 9 p.m. but has been staying open until 10 p.m. during the holiday shopping season.

Bredell had just emptied the cash register before the robber came into the store, the employee said, adding that Bredell wasn’t sure if there were one or two robbers because he was ordered to keep his head down.

A robber stole about $45 and smashed a case with a metal pipe and stole items from it, according to the employee and comments on the police dispatch log.

Jacobson said he couldn’t confirm the comments, including that a robber told Bredell, “You should have given me a deal earlier.”

The employee said Bredell had left the store for the day and wasn’t commenting on the robbery.

It’s the second time this fall that synthetic marijuana was stolen from a Moorhead business. Last week, a 35-year-old Fargo man was charged with breaking into Mellow Mood on Sept. 30 and stealing 40 to 50 pouches of K2-brand synthetic marijuana.

The U.S. government last week began a 30-day process to outlaw five chemicals used in herbal blends to make synthetic marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Agency said it wants to ban the drugs “to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety,” The Associated Press reported.

North Dakota has outlawed drugs commonly found in synthetic marijuana. Minnesota’s Legislature is expected to consider a ban next session.

On Tuesday, Fargo police said a 20-year-old Fargo man reported being ill after smoking synthetic marijuana Monday. The man was taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center, but his name and condition weren’t released.

Some opposed to banning synthetic marijuana argue that while it’s susceptible to abuse like any drug, it’s less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528