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Arnold store raid yields synthetic marijuana, guns

Eric Felack | Valeyy News Dispatch - Arnold police Chief Willie Weber talks about the months-long investigation into alleged synthetic marijuana sales during a raid on Thursday at the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Eric Felack  |  Valeyy News Dispatch</em></div>Arnold police Chief Willie Weber talks about the months-long investigation into alleged synthetic marijuana sales during a raid on Thursday at the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - State trooper Jeff Brautigam shows a 12-gauge shotgun found inside the Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold during a raid on Thursday. He said the bag of marijuana he is holding was confiscated from a customer at the store.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>State trooper Jeff Brautigam shows a 12-gauge shotgun found inside the Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold during a raid on Thursday. He said the bag of marijuana he is holding was confiscated from a customer at the store.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - An undercover state trooper checks an Uzi 9mm firearm confiscated during a raid on the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold on Thursday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>An undercover state trooper checks an Uzi 9mm firearm confiscated during a raid on the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold on Thursday.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - Arnold and state police raided the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold on Thursday. The owners are suspected of selling synthetic marijuana.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Arnold and state police raided the Arnold Stop-N-Go convenience store on Constitution Boulevard in Arnold on Thursday. The owners are suspected of selling synthetic marijuana.
Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch - Seif Suleiman Shuman, of Monroeville, is lead out of District Justice Pallone's office in New Kensington on Thursday February 7, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Erica Hilliard  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Seif Suleiman Shuman, of Monroeville, is lead out of District Justice Pallone's office in New Kensington on Thursday February 7, 2013.

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What is K2?

According to the authorities, synthetic marijuana, often known as “K2” or “Spice,” isn't marijuana but mimics its effects.

K2 is vegetable material, herb or even some spices that are sprayed with mind-altering chemical compounds.

Users smoke, make tea from the illegal substance or put it on food.

Drug Enforcement and other websites

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 2:40 p.m.
 

A Monroeville man was arrested Thursday and police are searching for his two brothers for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana at their Arnold convenience store — even after it was busted for the same offense in October.

Seif Suleiman Shuman, 42, of 3939 Stonecliffe Drive, Monroeville, was arrested by Arnold and state police during a raid at the Arnold Stop-N-Go at 1542 Constitution Blvd.

Police are looking for two of his brothers, Muhannad Suleiman Shuman, 38, and Mohammad Suleiman Shoman, 34, also of the Monroeville address. Arnold police Chief Willie Weber said the men are brothers despite differences in last names.

New Kensington District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. arraigned Seif Shuman on Thursday and set his bond at $100,000 pending a preliminary hearing.

Pallone also ordered Shuman, a U.S. citizen who also has an address at 7008 Weeping Willow Drive, Moon, to surrender his U.S. and Israeli passports.

Like his brothers, Seif Shuman is charged with possession and sales of an illicit, designer drug.

Shuman and Shoman are also accused of selling drug paraphernalia.

Police accusations

According to police reports, the store's own video surveillance tapes show about 100 illicit drug sales in three days in April 2012 alone.

Weber said Arnold police and the attorney general's drug task force started the investigation and later joined forces with state police. State police were investigating the sale of K2, which is to akin to synthetic marijuana. In an affidavit, police allege the brothers continued to sell the drug even after an Oct. 17 raid of their store yielded more than 50 pounds of K2, or “Spice.”

The K2 was in more than 4,400 packets with names including Scobby Snax, Mind Trip, Joker, Mad Hatter, Fire and Cloud Nine.

Police believe the K2 was shipped to the store from North Miami Beach, Fla., and agents said that connection is being investigated.

At the arraignment, defense attorney Duke George told Pallone that Muhannad Shuman is scheduled to surrender to police sometime Friday.

He said Shoman's whereabouts is unknown but he reportedly isn't in the United States. An investigator said Shoman, who like his brothers was born in Jerusalem, probably is there.

When police searched the store in October, they also searched the Monroeville house the same day and allegedly found $140,000 in cash, more synthetic marijuana, a Tec-9 handgun and a safety-deposit key.

The key led to safety -deposit box in a Murrysville bank and $50,000 in cash, authorities said.

At the bond hearing, George argued there is evidence that the nearly $200,000 found by police is part of the proceeds of the lawful sale of a business in Turtle Creek. George told Pallone that he will argue in Westmoreland County Court that the money should be returned to the men.

He also said unlike their younger brother, Seif and Muhannad Shuman are U.S. citizens who are entitled to own weapons to protect themselves and their businesses.

“They knew they would be arrested, but they didn't flee,” George said in a bid to get the bond reduced. Pallone rejected the argument.

During Thursday's raid, police confiscated a Uzi semi-automatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun, both with folding stocks.Police locked the store and were said to be obtaining a warrant to search the store again.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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