Brockport, N.Y. - Local, state and federal officials Wednesday raided several smoke shops to crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs.
Included in the raided stores are The 420 Emporium locations in Brockport and Batavia. Other shops were raided in the Albany, Syracuse and Watertown areas.
At a press conference Wednesday, U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. announced the arrest of Joshua Denise, 37, of Batavia, Michelle Condidorio, 30, of Leroy, and Austin Szczur, 22 of Rochester. They were charged with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance analogue.
Authorities say investigators from the Rochester Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration and State Police have been involved in an ongoing investigation of the illegal importation, manufacture and distribution of synthetic controlled substance analogues (synthetic drugs) from various locations throughout Western New York and elsewhere.
They say during the investigation, law enforcement determined that synthetic controlled substance analogues were being sold from several businesses known as 420 Emporium.
Authorities say Condidorio and Denise sold synthetic controlled substance analogues to undercover officers on July 2, 2012 and July 16, 2012 respectively from the 420 Emporium in Batavia, while Szczur sold suspected synthetic substance analogues from the Rochester 420 Emporium location.
Hochul said on Wednesday that he commends the public’s help in reporting their concerns to law enforcement, as well as the reporting of the serious health consequences in taking these substances.