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Area 51 Smoke Shop faces criminal charges, penalties for alleged THC, labor, tax violations

Monroe police detectives say this is a small portion of the items seized from Area 51 Smoke Shop, 525 Main St.

MONROE, CT —- Numerous complaints over the alleged illegal sale of marijuana by Area 51 Smoke Shop, 525 Main Street, a business not authorized to sell THC products, led to an investigation by detectives, according to a press release issued by police Wednesday.

The investigation culminated in a search warrant of the store on July 18, resulting in the seizure of around four pounds of loose marijuana, about 1,000 THC products — including vape devices, pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes and containers of THC gummy products, and $10,000 cash, police said.

Shortly after Area 51 Smoke Shop opened last April, police received anonymous complaints regarding the sale of marijuana and statutorily controlled substances, including alleged sales to juveniles as young as 14-years-old, police said.

Monroe detectives conducted multiple undercover purchases of products which were not being sold in accordance with Connecticut law, according to police. Investigators also discovered Area 51 Smoke Shop was allegedly not in compliance with state of Connecticut labor and tax laws.

Area 51 Smoke Shop is not authorized to sell any THC products and faces administrative penalties from the state, police said, adding criminal charges are also pending.

“The sale of these products can only be done through State of Connecticut authorized dispensaries,” the press release states. “The Town of Monroe does not have any legal dispensaries and these products should not be sold by any businesses in town.”

Police executed the search warrant with assistance from the Connecticut Department of Labor and Revenue, Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Unit, and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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