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Headshop owner charged in synthetic pot bust

by
John Rundell
John Rundell

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Prosecutors charged the owner of Blazin’ Gifts headshop in Wausau on Friday with breaking a state law for having 136 packages of synthetic marijuana.

John Rundell will have to post a $20,000 cash bond to get out of jail. A judge will decide October 31st whether there is enough evidence to bind Rundell over for trial on three felony charges. As part of his bond, Rundell cannot possess or sell any controlled substances.

Rundell is charged with possession with intent to deliver non-narcotic drugs, maintaining a drug trafficking place and being a dealer in possession of a controlled substance without a tax stamp. The most serious charge carries a maximum 6-year sentence, but Rundell could face another four years in prison because prosecutors have charged him as a repeater.

According to court documents, a confidential police informant had bought synthetic marijuana from the headshop every three days for the past ten weeks. Police searched the business on Wednesday and found the illegal products and more than $4,000 in cash.

“It’s obvious the sales are illicit,” assistant district attorney Ryan Wetzsteon said. “The city and the police department have given the defendant every reasonable chance to comply.”

Wausau passed an ordinance last November banning the possession or sale of synthetic marijuana. A state ban took effect in July.

Blazin’ Gifts has repeatedly failed compliance checks, Wetzsteon said.  Police found some of the product in a blacked out display case.

“It shows someone is willing to snub his nose at authority figures including the court,” Judge Vincent Howard said.

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