On Tuesday June 19, 2012 at approximately 3:45 pm, agents from the Cherokee Narcotics Unit, assisted by officers from the Centre Police Department, executed a search warrant at the Cherokee One Stop Shop located at 295 West Main Street in Centre. A separate search warrant was executed simultaneously at a nearby apartment where the suspects currently reside.
According to Sheriff Jeff Shaver, the operation was the culmination of an investigation over the course of several weeks which revealed that the operators of the business, Hussein Ali Obad and Abdulgbar A. Elhaj, were selling packets of the recently banned synthetic marijuana, also known as “Spice” and commonly called “legal weed” on the street, to select store patrons.
Prior to the execution of the search warrant, agents were able to utilize confidential informants to record video transactions from the suspects at the store as well as from the nearby apartment where Obad and Elhaj reside. The search of the business and residence produced more of the banned product, drug related paraphernalia and approximately $1713.00 in U.S. currency. Part of the currency seized was identified by agents as money used to conduct the controlled purchases in the days prior.
Arrest warrants for the sale of the banned substance were obtained prior to the execution of the search warrants for both Obad and Elhaj. They are both currently being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center on multiple charges of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. The investigation is continuing with possible charges pending.