Sixteen people were arrested after police raided 10 gas stations in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday.
The raids were part of a six-month long investigation involving undercover officers and SWAT, according to a news release from the Mobile Police Dept. Officers found glass tube pens, glass pipes, gas masks, and other drug paraphernalia at the stores. Cannabinoid oil gummies, packages of Kratom, and six guns were also seized.
Some 29 misdemeanor charges and one felony charge were handed out to the accused. Police say two of the people arrested are undocumented immigrants and now will be deported.
Undercover officers were able to buy some of the items at the stores during the investigation, Police Chief James Barber said.
“We will not tolerate a business facilitating illegal drug activity by selling drug paraphernalia,” Barber said in a news release. “Our efforts will curtail the ease of obtaining items needed to use crack cocaine.”
More than $240,000 in cash and over $260,000 in bank account funds were seized. Officers also conducted five separate searches at the store owners’ homes. Police said the investigation uncovered the stores deposited funds from the sale of the drug goods into their business bank accounts.
Willie James Inman is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow him on twitter: @WillieJames