Police search convenience stores for synthetic drugs
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Search warrants were served Monday at six convenience stores in St. Joseph County suspected of selling synthetic drugs. Several stores in Elkhart are also being investigated.
Narcotics investigators assigned to the Metro Special Operations Section, the South Bend Police Department and the Mishawaka Police Department executed the search warrants at the following stores in South Bend and Mishawaka:
- Stop Shop – 1039 Lincolnway West, South Bend, Indiana
- Rick’s Mart – 3529 W. Western Avenue, South Bend, Indiana
- Sam’s Food Mart – 1336 Lincolnway West, South Bend, Indiana
- Eddy Street Food Mart – 334 N. Eddy Street, South Bend, Indiana
- Always Open – 1401 N. Bendix Avenue, South Bend, Indiana
- Rick’s – 302 S. Main Street, Mishawaka, Indiana
The search warrants are the result of a year-long investigation into the distribution of synthetic drugs in the county.
At Eddy Street Food Mart, police took out several boxes, a safe and a store employee in handcuffs. Police have not revealed what was seized from the store.
At Rick's on Main Street in Mishawaka, officials say they received numerous complaints about the business and the owner.
Some working at nearby businesses said the owner put up a fight when police showed up on scene.
Police said once the investigation is complete, there is nothing to stop the stores from reopening.
Elkhart County conducts similar investigations
The convenience stores in Elkhart being investigated include the Phillips 66 at Thomas and Indiana and the Marathon at Indiana and Franklin.
ABC57 Investigation - November 2013
In November 2013, Daryl Bjoraas went undercover into some of these same convenience stores and purchased synthetic marijuana.
At Rick's in Mishawaka, when confronted, the store owner promised to talk with his business partner about no longer selling synthetic marijuana.
After our story aired, the prosecutor's office contacted us promising to take action.