The Texas Attorney General’s Office Friday morning obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping Brothers Market and Meat Mart, and Fantasy Smoking and Accessories, two Houston businesses and their owners, from selling highly addictive and dangerous synthetic drugs, known as K2.
The office also filed lawsuits as part of the joint operation with the Harris County Attorney’s Office, the City of Houston, the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Houston Forensic Science Center. Several undercover investigations by the HPD Narcotics Division uncovered and ultimately led to the seizure of dangerous synthetic drugs at both places of business.
“Today’s joint operation shows the commitment of state, county and city authorities to form a united front to fight this growing threat to our youth,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The illegal marketing and sale of powerful and deadly drugs, to children and adults alike, must be put to a stop. My office will continue working with local authorities across Texas to clearly send the message that businesses who choose to sell these substances will pay the price.”
The two lawsuits, filed separately in Harris County district court by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Harris County Attorney’s Office, and the City of Houston, name the following defendants:
- Fantasy Smoking and Accessories a/k/a Sheer Fantasy, Inc., and its owners Glen Cohen, and Judy Cohen.
-Brothers Market and Meat Mart, and its owners Ali Jaber Faiz, Omar Jaber, Sawsan Mahmoud Jaber, Mohamed Jaber, Nemeh Jaber and Louis Poutous.
Facts of the cases:
Fantasy Smoking and Accessories
HPD officers seized 77 pounds of synthetic drugs along with other controlled substances. Officers later determined the drugs were being ordered by the store owner, Glen Cohen, and were delivered in a trash bag and packaged individually by store employees. The Houston Forensic Science Center identified the substance as the synthetic cannabinoid XLR11.
Brothers Market and Meat Mart
According to investigators, synthetic drugs were sold in packages deceivingly labeled as “potpourri” or “strawberry.” Forty packages, labelled with a list of misleading ingredients, were seized by HPD officers. Lab results confirmed the products contained AB-CHMINACA and XLR11, both highly addictive and highly dangerous, and listed as Schedule 1 controlled substances by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
K2, also known as synthetic marijuana, is produced when a powerful hallucinogenic chemical is sprayed or injected on a shredded leaves and other plant matter, from which the user intends to get a “legal” high. Synthetic cannabinoids has been linked to severe paranoia, psychotic episodes, violent delusions, kidney damage, suicidal thoughts, and self-mutilation. According to the DEA, it is the second-most abused substance by high school seniors, and overdoses of the drug are increasing in Texas.
The state’s lawsuits allege violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as common nuisance statutes under Texas law. The state intends to seek a permanent injunction against both businesses.
To view the filings against defendants, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Fantasy_Smoke_-_File_Stamped_Copy.pdf and https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Brothers_File_Stamped_Copy.pdf.
To view the temporary restraining orders, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/brothers_meat_market_tro2016-01-29-125306.pdf and https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/fantasy_tro2016-01-29-125946.pdf.