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Man accused of selling synthetic THC for vaping

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DENHAM SPRINGS - Police arrested a Denham Springs gas station owner after narcotics detectives said they seized hundreds of bottles of vaporizer liquid which had synthetic THC in it which were being sold at the station.

Police charged Essam Farhat on Dec. 7 with one count of distributing drugs, and 228 counts of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them.

Officers said they found out about the drugs after investigating a drug overdose at Denham High School on Dec. 15. Detectives said they found a liquid called "Juicy" in a vaporizer the students had used.

Detectives later learned the substance was being sold at the Magnolia Express gas station on Range Avenue and made an undercover purchase, sending a bottle of the liquid to the State Police Crime Lab. Investigators there said the substance was a liquid form of synthetic THC.

DSPD investigators said on Jan. 7 they did another undercover buy at the station from Farhat, the station's owner, who rang up the sale at the cash register. Detectives then searched the station and said they found a wooden box hidden behind the register with 30 bottles of the same "Juicy" liquid in it, and another 198 bottles in a plastic container hidden behind a fake wall in the station. Investigators said the bottles had an estimated street value of $13,680, and they also seized $16,797.20 in cash.

Investigators arrested Farhat, who later bonded out of the Livingston Parish jail.

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