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Russell County synthetic drug raid ends in arrest

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: Jun 25 2013 02:55:17 PM CDT
Russell County Raid
RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. -

It's been an ongoing investigation since December of 2012 -- the Russell County Sheriff's Department, St.Paul Police Department and the Virginia State Police Department worked together to stop the selling of synthetic drugs in one store that appeared to be running business as usual.

"[Shubox] is a race shop, where they sell race memorabilia and things of that nature. They've been selling a lot of these synthetic marijuana products there," said Major Bill Watson.

While looks can be deceiving, Janie Vicars, who owns the building next to Shubox, says she wasn't fooled and what was really being sold inside the business was no secret. "We've seen children come, teenagers going in that store for a minute and come right out carrying their stuff," said Vicars.

Russell County Sheriff Steve Dye says a lot of drugs have been seen on the streets of the small town, which sparked the investigation. "We were taking in a lot of people on the street and were arresting a lot of people who had it in their possession," he explained.

But when people started to talk around town, local police listened. "When someone is running what appears to be a pawn shop or something of that nature, you have some tremendous amount of traffic in and out but you rarely see anyone carrying any merchandise, people start to talk," said Sheriff Dye.

Sheriff Dye says the investigation has been going on since December of 2012. "We started doing surveillance on this location and on January 24, we sent an undercover officer in and actually made a hand-to-hand buy," said Sheriff Dye.

On Monday they made another buy, which led to the raid.

Shubox owner Wesley Rasnick was arrested and charged with four felony counts of selling synthetic marijuana, four felony counts of selling within a thousand feet of a school and one charge of being an operating nuisance.

The Russell County Sheriff's Department tells News 5 they felt Rasnick was a major supplier in the area and hope this raid will help with the local drug problem. "It should serve as notice to others who want to do this; if you are selling the synthetic Cannabinoids, we're going to do everything we can to put you out of business," said Sheriff Dye.

The Russell County Sheriff's Department tells us they seized 30 grams of the synthetic marijuana, along with an undisclosed amount of money.

Rasnick is being held without bond.