SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA: Police Follow Money Trail

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Money, cash, cars and drugs.  That's what Des Moines Police seized following a six-month long investigation.   As they uncover more evidence, they're making more arrests in the case.

“Our narcotics crew, every last one of them, has been sorting through evidence,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax.

Authorities seized thousands of packets of synthetic marijuana from six convenience stores, two homes and a storage facility.  That isn’t all.

“We have seized 10 vehicles,” says Halifax. “We have frozen several bank accounts associated with the sales of the synthetic.”

Authorities charged another person with selling those banned substances.  The arrest of 48-year-old Janice Williams make seven.  Like the other suspects, she is charged with Conspiracy to Deliver Narcotics, Delivery of Narcotics and Possession With Intent to Deliver.

Today, the Shop N Save on 6th Avenue is back open for business while another store that was searched, The Nat Food Mart on 2nd  Ave, remains closed.

Kyle DuPass wasn’t home Tuesday when police searched the Waukee home of his next-door-neighbor for the last two years.

“It's a nice quiet neighborhood with families.  There's nothing that ever goes on around here,” he says.

DuPass is hearing for the first time that police say the family living here is connected to the case.

“I just know they own some convenience stores,” says DuPass.

“This investigation is not done.  They will be more arrests tied to this case,” says Halifax.

Also arrested were Nadeem Islam, Joshzetta Wilson, Gowtham Jaggavarapu, Muhammad Madni, Fawn Johnson, and Deanna Bacon.  As of Wednesday, only two of the seven people arrested are still in the Polk County Jail.

If you know where synthetic marijuana is being sold, police are asking for your help.   You can contact the Des Moines Police Narcotics Division's complaint line at 237-1594.


  • jim smith

    This is what happens during prohibition. A less dangerous drug than alcohol becomes outlawed. Now a synthetic with no medical benefit and causes harm takes it’s place. GOOD WORK BRANSTAD

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