Monroe Police Reports: Illegal marijuana sales, two thefts

MONROE, CT —- An employee of Area 51 Smoke Shop, 525 Main Street, turned himself in on a warrant on Sept. 21, stemming from an investigation of the business this past summer, which found labor and tax violations and illegal sales of marijuana.

Musheer Al Turki, 27, of Mobile, Ala., was charged with conspiracy to commit possession with intent to sell one kilogram or more of cannabis and released on $10,000 bond for a Sept. 29 court date.

Area 51 Smoke Shop is not authorized to sell any THC products and faces administrative penalties from the state, according to police.

“The sale of these products can only be done through State of Connecticut authorized dispensaries,” a police 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.”

Numerous complaints over the alleged illegal sale of marijuana by Area 51 Smoke Shop led to an investigation by detectives, according to police.

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.

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.

Theft of a Ridgid ProPress 350

An employee of A&B Mechanical, 588 Pepper St., allegedly stole a Ridgid ProPress 350, a tool valued between $3,000 and $4,000, from the town business.

The 45-year-old Preston man turned himself in on a warrant charging him with third-degree larceny 0n Sept. 20. He was released after paying 10 percent of his $2,500 bond for a Sept. 29 court date.

On Oct. 19, 2022, police received a complaint from A&B Mechanical that its employee told his supervisor about the theft of the tool from his work van.

The owner of the business searched through pawn shops and online sales, before finding the Ridgid ProPress 350 from identifying marks on it, police said, adding detectives identified the employee as the seller.

Based on the investigation, an arrest warrant was issued by Superior Court.

Wire stolen from tower

A Verizon Cellular employee reported the theft of 1,290 feet of communication wire from the cell tower at 88 Main St. Monday. Police said someone stripped 3G and 4G lines from the tower, which were affixed to it as backup for the 5G wire.

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