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Grove City grocer faces more synthetic marijuana charges

| Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

A Mercer County grocer awaiting a hearing on charges of selling synthetic marijuana in his store is charged with selling thousands of dollars worth of the drug to an undercover narcotics officer.

Ala Hassan Nassar, owner of the Broad Street Market in Grove City, told the undercover officer that gram packets of synthetic marijuana -- a psychoactive herbal and chemical product that mimics the effects of cannabis -- were "selling like crazy," said Brian Blair, deputy Hermitage police chief.

Nassar, 27, was arrested on Thursday after he sold the undercover officer 500 packets of synthetic marijuana -- labeled Head Trip -- for $3,600 in a home in Hermitage, Blair said on Friday.

He was taken into custody when he got into a vehicle driven by Abdallah Hasan Matariyeh, 27, Blair said. Police searched the home Nassar and Matariyeh share in Sharpsville and seized $17,700, Blair said.

Nassar is accused of selling the officer $3,500 worth of the drug on Wednesday and 200 packets for $1,000 on Jan. 20.

Blair said Nassar was introduced to the undercover officer by an informant he met while in the Mercer County Jail after his arrest in December when one of the market's employees, Linsey Montgomery, 22, was accused of selling narcotics at the store. Officers seized 1,366 grams of synthetic marijuana when they searched the store, Blair said.

Nassar, Matariyeh and Montgomery are awaiting preliminary hearings on a variety of drug charges.

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