Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of $10,000 seized from a tobacco shop in Jasper, Tn., that was identified as a major distributor of synthetic marijuana in Eastern Tennessee and Northern Alabama.
The suit says the probe at the C&D Tobacco Shop began in October 2012 and involved a cooperating employee as well as a confidential source who bought synthetic marijuana from the shop.
The employee said workers were forced to sell the illegal substance under threats that they would be fired and charged with stealing lottery tickets.
The store operators were listed as Derrill Moore, owner, and Tonya Rearick Champion, manager.
The employee said workers were told the only way to keep the store open was to sell as much synthetic marijuana as possible.
Agents said on April 4, 2013, Dwayne Currie delivered a large bag of synthetic marijuana to the store and Moore paid him $8,000.
The employee said Moore and Ms. Champion would work the day shift, and on the night shift Ms. Champion would call or text to give instructions on who to sell synthetic marijuana to.
The code word for synthetic marijuana at the store was “herb” or “green,” it was stated.
On April 10, 2013, Ms. Champion was seen coming from 109 College St. to the tobacco shop in a black Jeep towing a jet ski. The employee said she would deliver more synthetic marijuana for the night shift to sell.
The next day a confidential source was used to buy synthetic marijuana from Ms. Champion. It was sold in a package and delivered through a drive-in window.
Another purchase of synthetic marijuana was made from Ms. Champion on June 3, 2014. Agents said she sent her boyfriend, Andy Skiles, to make the delivery.
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