Police: Suspected synthetic drugs seized at convenience store

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Police say they foiled a synthetic cannabinoid sale operation at a Decatur business.

In a sworn statement issued Monday, officers detailed a search warrant executed on the morning of May 11 at Mini Mart Express (415 W. Grand Ave.) in Decatur. Police say they seized 41 bags of suspected synthetic cannabinoids, along with a bag filled with a leafy substance that they suspect contained cannabinoids. They also arrested store clerk Michelle Lee, 44.

Police say Lee told them the store owner threatened to fire her if she didn’t sell the K2, then instructed her to not display the drugs and store cash from those sales in the Illinois Lotto machine register. Officers say customers had to make a special request for the cannabinoids in order to buy them.

Lee, who faces a drug charge in Macon County, told police she was afraid of losing her job. Police say she admitted to knowing what she sold was illegal and told officers she sold 100 packets of suspected synthetic cannabinoids every day she worked.

Synthetic cannabinoids are linked to four deaths in Illinois, including three in the central Illinois area, and severe bleeding in some people. The drugs use different chemicals - sometimes rat poison - to replicate the high from real cannabis.

Police say they worked with the Illinois Department of Revenue to seize 62 packets of suspected synthetic cannabinoids from the same store on March 19. They say Lee was working in the store on that date.

Officers report the store charged $10 for a small bag of synthetic drugs and $20 for a large bag.

Lee’s bond is set at $5,000.

NOTE: WAND-TV has requested a mug shot for Lee and will add it to the story when it is received.