2 plead guilty following undercover drug sting

Two men caught selling liquid synthetic marijuana from the Triangle Food Store in Luling both pled guilty in connection with the crime.

In July, investigators with the Sheriff’s Office received a tip that the Triangle Food Store in Luling was selling liquid synthetic marijuana. According to the tip, which came from a concerned resident, the liquid chemical was being sold in conjunction with a vaporizer, or electronic cigarette, commonly used to breathe in nicotine.

“This liquid synthetic cannabinoid is being marketed to use in conjunction with electronic cigarettes and are a threat to our kids. This chemical can cause hallucinations, seizures and even psychosis,” Capt. Pat Yoes, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said. “This new liquid form of ingesting synthetic cannabinoids can be a lot more potent because if too much of the liquid is in the pen one will get a significant dose from the vapors.”

During the investigation, an undercover detective purchased a sample of the liquid substance, called Strawberry Spade Oil, on three separate occasions. He bought the drug from the store’s owner, Hoa T. Nguyen, and the store’s manager, Tai Tan Nguyen, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Samples of the strawberry oil were sent to the Louisiana State Police drug lab and contained a synthetic chemical that was placed on the list of banned controlled dangerous substances in March.

Based on the undercover purchases of the liquid synthetic marijuana, investigators obtained a search warrant for the business and say they located a total of 23 bottles of the substance.

Both Nguyens were sentenced to five years in jail, but their sentences were suspended. They were each placed on probation for five years and must be evaluated for substance abuse treatment.

The Triangle Food Store reopened under a new ownership last month.

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