CHALMETTE, La. - The owner of a Chalmette cigarette store has been arrested for selling synthetic marijuana out of his store, the sheriff's office announced Thursday.

Kevin Kumar Shah, 25, of New Orleans, owner of Chalmette Discount Cigarettes at 1800 E. Judge Perez Drive was arrested Monday. He was released on a $50,000 bond.

The sheriff's office said Shah had 1.4 pounds of the synthetic drug, worth about $6,300 in a back room.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said video from the surveillance camera in Shah's store would used against him. Pohlmann said video from the system shows Shah handling the bag where the synthetic marijuana was found. The video also appeared to show Shah selling cigarettes to students in school uniforms who appeared to be younger than the minimum age required to buy tobacco products.

'These types of synthetic marijuana, whether known as Spice, MoJo or other names given them, have been illegal in this state for some time now,'said Pohlmann. 'Some people wrongly believe are legal.'

Shah was booked with possession with intent to distribute 630 grams, or about 1.4 pounds, of synthetic marijuana, worth about $6,300 when sold at $10 a gram, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Shah was also booked with distribution of synthetic marijuana and possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia including pipes, scales and grinders.

The arrest, made at Shah's store by the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division led by Maj. Chad Clark, came after a month-long investigation. Based on evidence gathered, a search warrant was signed by a judge and it was executed at the business, the sheriff said.

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