'Spice' Bust a First in St. Petersburg

Undercover detectives have purchased packages of "Spice" from other locations in the city and additional arrests are pending.

A St. Petersburg retailer was arrested on a drug charge Wednesday, after police say an undercover officer bought the banned substance, "Spice," from her St. Petersburg store.

The owner of Nessa's Drive Thru, Meherun Nessa, 54, was arrested by St. Peterburg Police on the charge of "sale and possession of a controlled substance."

The undercover detective bought two packs at the convenience store, at 5820 9th Ave N, on February 4 after receiving a tip, according to a press release.

Each package had four grams of "Spice," which is known as synthetic marijuana, and was labeled "Mr. Happy Potpurri," according to police.

Since not all packages sold in the area as "Spice" or k-2 are illegal, officials sent the samples to a lab.

According to police, "Spice" or K-2 is only illegal if the contents include illegal chemicals prohibited by Florida State Statute 893.

Laboratory analysis revealed the presence of the chemical XLR-11, a Schedule 1 narcotic listed under the emergency order enacted by Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi on December 11, 2012, according to the press release.

Undercover detectives have purchased packages of "Spice" from other locations
in the city and additional arrests are pending the results of laboratory
analyses, police say.

This is the first arrest for illegal spice (synthetic marijuana) in the City
of St. Petersburg.

According to police, Nessa acknowledged she knew that it was illegal to sell the
synthetic drug and that she typically only sold it to people she knew.

Nessa acknowledged receiving a recent flyer from the St. Petersburg Police
Department concerning synthetic drugs and "spice," police say. 

Since then, she said that she no longer sells Spice products. A search of the business at the time of her arrest confirmed she no longer had any illegal synthetic drugs in the store, according to the press release.

"Spice" Ban

Currently, St. Peterburg City Councilors are considering a new ordinance to ban all "spice" products based on certain packaging requirements, etc,
regardless of whether or not the package contains chemical compounds that are
illegal according to Florida State Statute 893, according to the press release.

The new city ordinance goes for a second reading before City Council on
Thursday April 4, 2013.

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