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Dave Roepke, Published October 13 2011

350 packets of synthetic pot seized at Moorhead shipping store

MOORHEAD – Police seized 350 packets marked as herbal incense sent to a UPS store in Moorhead last week after a drug-sniffing dog allegedly identified the package as containing an illegal drug.

The package was sent from a Seattle address linked to TopK2.com, a website that advertises its product as herbal incense “legal in all 50 states,” according to the application for a search warrant filed this week in Clay County District Court.

A store manager called police concerning a suspicious package on Oct. 6, according to warrant documents. A police dog, Earl, alerted on the box, and the dog is not trained to sniff out herbal incense or synthetic marijuana, according to court documents.

Upon opening the box, officers found the packets, all of which were packaged under brand names starting with “420,” such as 420 Cubed Bango Berry and 420 Ultra Bubba Funk.

Moorhead police Lt. Brad Penas said no charges have been filed yet in connection with the seizure, but he had no other comment on the ongoing investigation.

A voice mail left at the phone number listed with the package for the woman to whom it was addressed, Tina St. Claire, wasn’t returned Thursday.

It’s at least the third time Moorhead police have seized suspected synthetic marijuana in the city since a state ban outlawing a variety of substances, synthetic pot included, went into effect on July 1.

The prior seizures both were linked to Moorhead smoke shops and prompted charges to be filed against the stores’ owners: Yassin Wazwaz from Pyromaniacs and Andrew Leikas from Mellow Moods.

Court records show Leikas and Wazwaz appear to be mounting a legal challenge to their charges. The cases are pending, with evidentiary hearings scheduled for both – Nov. 14 for Leikas and Dec. 13 for Wazwaz.

Prosecutors are also seeking to retain nearly $5,000 in cash seized in the July 15 raid on Pyromaniacs, according to a civil forfeiture complaint filed in Clay County on Oct. 10.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535