On Sept. 12, authorities announced that the owner of a New Jersey tattoo parlor had been charged for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana. The 41-year-old owner of a shop in Wildwood was charged for third-degree drug possession and second-degree distribution of synthetic marijuana as well as second-degree distribution of synthetic marijuana within 500 feet of a public area.
Before taking the man into custody, law enforcement executed a search warrant at his business along the Wildwoods Boardwalk. The man is accused of making synthetic marijuana deals at his store, and the search was reportedly part of a broader initiative to crack down on local businesses that are suspected of selling controlled dangerous substances. The effort was a joint initiative by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force and the Wildwood Police Department Detective Bureau.
After receiving his charges, the accused tattoo shop owner was released on his own recognizance. On Sept. 15, he indicated that he wished to speak to his criminal defense lawyer prior to making any comments about the charges that were laid against him. The man could face a prison sentence of between five and 10 years for the second-degree charge and a three- to five-year prison sentence for the third-degree charge.
When authorities enter a place of business or a private residence in search of illicit materials, they must have either a valid search warrant or probable cause. With a search warrant, they may only look in those areas specified by the warrant. If they do not conduct the search according to the limits in the warrant, any evidence seized may be inadmissible in court, potentially eliminating the prosecution's case.
Source: The Wildwood Leader, "Owner of Wildwood's Oxygen Tattoo charged with selling synthetic marijuana", September 15, 2014