Crime

Ferndale police seize ‘Spice’ during search of gas station

Police seized what they believe is “Spice” from a Ferndale gas station Friday, Feb. 27, while investigating whether the business had been selling the illegal drug to customers.

Police conducted a search of Gull gas station, 1846 Main St., and seized video surveillance and business documents along with the Spice product, according to a press release from the city of Ferndale. No arrests were made.

The product that was taken will be sent to a state crime lab for testing. Police and county prosecutors will review evidence before making any arrests. The listed owners of the property are Magdy and Tahany Awadalla.

Spice is a synthetic drug that was made illegal in 2011 in Washington state. The drug, which many have considered a synthetic alternative to marijuana, can cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations.

The investigation confirmed that store attendants sold a product appearing to be Spice, according to police. The receipts the business provided to customers indicated they had purchased cigarettes.

Ferndale Police Lt. Bill Hatchett said the gas station was rumored to be selling spice for several months. Police had responded to multiple reports of the drug making people sick — typically juveniles. Some of the kids had said they bought the Spice at the Gull station, leading police to conduct the search, Hatchett said.

Hatchett said the drug was not on the shelves of the gas station, but customers would ask the store employee if they were selling Spice and then make the transaction.

The Ferndale School District has previously expressed concern about high school students using the drug.

“Hopefully this puts an end to this product or type of product being sold in our community,” Hatchett said.

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