Bay Area/ San Jose/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 14, 2024
Mountain View Police Crack Down on Illegal Tobacco and Substance Sales, Major Seizures at Local Smoke ShopsSource: Google Street View

Mountain View police executed search warrants at two local smoke shops, as part of a prolonged investigation into the illicit sale of tobacco and controlled substances. On June 12, the B&Y Smoke Shop on Castro Street and the Great Vape Smoke Shop on West El Camino Real, which are not affiliated, were raided by authorities including the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) Crime Suppression Unit, Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), according to the City of Mountain View.

Controlled purchases made by the MVPD had previously indicated the sale of psilocybin and THC products to minors at these shops, products that are either illegal or restricted under California state law—for psilocybin outright, and THC for individuals under 21. The investigation was initiated following complaints regarding the potential underage sale and sale of flavored tobacco, both prohibited by state regulations. The raids yielded a substantial haul, with detectives seizing 338 and 138 psilocybin products from Great Vape and B&Y respectively, as well as 1,200 THC and flavored tobacco products from Great Vape, and a staggering 12,000 from B&Y.

Upon serving the warrants, employees at the locations were detained. An employee at B&Y, Yousef Aldhaheri, was cited by the CDTFA for violations of Business and Professions Code 22974.3(a)(3). Additionally, during the operation at the B&Y Smoke Shop, MVPD detectives surfaced a recent fire that had occurred in the building. Mountain View Fire Department (MVFD) responded by logging potential violations and furnishing a report to the City’s Building Division.

"This investigation demonstrates that the MVPD and the City of Mountain View will not tolerate businesses preying on our youth by selling cannabis, vaping products, or flavored tobacco products. Our youth deserve better, and we will continue working with our partners to vigorously enforce these laws", MVPD Chief Mike Canfield remarked, as cited by the City of Mountain View. As for the seized items, MVPD detectives are sorting through the evidence, which they plan to submit to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and Mountain View City Attorney’s Office for potential criminal charge evaluation.