Vince Ryan is at it again. The Harris County Attorney on Wednesday announced his office had obtained a restraining order against a Gulf Freeway gas station and convenience store preventing the sale of kush there. The bust was the latest in a string his office has conducted across the county.
Ryan said in a statement that narcotics officers with the Houston Police Department had been investigating the Gulf Oil station at 6420 Gulf Freeway since October. Last month, officers used confidential informants to discover the store was selling kush in unmarked silver bags. When police went to the store with a search warrant, the clerks "locked themselves in the back room and attempted to hide the kush by pouring it down the sink," Ryan said.
Undeterred, police retrieved the drugs and arrested the pair, Mohamad S. Islam and Tofayel Ahmed. Islam faces a charge of destroying evidence, while prosecutors have accused Ahmed of failing to comply with local health and sanitation laws, Harris County court records state. Ryan added that police had repeatedly warned store employees not to sell kush, which is illegal in Texas.
A district judge later ordered the store to hire two uniformed police officers to provide security at the store and to close by 10 o'clock each evening. Ryan said he refuses to tolerate the sale of kush in Houston and intends to ask the judge to order the store closed for one year.
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For more than a year, Houston and Harris County authorities have cracked down on kush sales at head shops, boutiques and gas stations. In September, Houston police seized 131 pounds of kush in a raid. That same month, the county attorney's office successfully argued for a $1.2 million fine against Houston-area kush dealer Katz Boutique.
They hope to spur a decrease in kush use, which has placed a strain on emergency resources and ravaged neighborhoods like Midtown, which we covered in our cover feature "Kush City."
Ryan said he remains determined to target as many Houston kush vendors as it takes to make a lasting impact.
"We will take whatever steps necessary to stop the sale of kush, including shutting down their business, if necessary," Ryan said in his statement.