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Exeter store charged again with selling synthetic pot

December 09. 2013 11:54PM

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EXETER — It’s round two for the state Office of Attorney General.

State drug agents re-filed charges against Magikal Gardens and its owners with selling synthetic marijuana.

Alfonse Richard Palaima, 65, and his wife, Sharleen Palaima, 62, of Hughestown, are facing charges of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and dealing in unlawful proceeds. Their store on Wyoming Avenue in Exeter was also charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and dealing in unlawful proceeds.

The couple and the store are accused of selling the synthetic drug from March through July 2012. It was one of many retail smoke stores and gasoline stations around the state raided July 26, 2012, in “Operation Artificial High.”

The Palaima’s were initially charged in September.

District Judge Joseph Carmody in West Pittston dismissed the charges against the couple after a preliminary hearing in October.

The latest charges were filed with Carmody. It remains unknown if the AG’s office will petition to have another district judge preside over the preliminary hearing.

Their attorney, Peter Moses, questioned the re-filing.

“Our plan is simple. If this wasn’t illegal in October, how can it be illegal in December?” Moses rhetorically asked. “It was clear in October these synthetic cannabinoids were deemed to be legal substances. The commonwealth at the previous preliminary hearing could not produce one witness or one lab report to the contrary.”

Moses said the substance Magikal Gardens sold did not include any of the eight or nine synthetic substances made illegal under the state General Assembly.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled on Jan. 15.

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