In October of 2011, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division conducted an undercover operation targeting several primary locations that were actively engaging in the county-wide distribution of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. This investigation was started due to numerous complaints made to the Sheriff’s Office from Vidor area residents, sheriff Keith Merritt said.
During the investigations, undercover officers with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were able to purchase bath salts believed to contain Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) a controlled substance. The suspected substance was sent to the Jefferson County Crime Lab and confirmed to contain MDPV.
As a result of this undercover operation, a search warrant was issued for JR’s Mini-Mart located at 5320 North Highway 105 in Vidor. On October 7, 2011, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division executed the search warrant found the store owner, 46-year-old Mohammad Aftab Sultan, actively participating in the distribution of bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Several containers of bath salts and synthetic marijuana were seized during the search warrant. The evidence was sent to the Jefferson County Crime Lab and was positively identified as containing one or more of the substances prohibited by state law.
On Wednesday May 16, the case was presented to the Orange County Grand Jury, which resulted in the indictment of Sultan for felony possession of a controlled substance (MDPV) and felony possession of synthetic cannabinoid. On Thursday, May 17, officers with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office located and arrested Sultan for the outstanding felony warrants and transported him to the Orange County Correctional Facility.
Bond was set at $40,000.
“The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will continue to actively pursue store owners who fail to comply with state law and distribute bath salts or synthetic marijuana.” Merritt said, and also advised that other indictments may still be pending as a result of the undercover operation.