Exclusive video captures smoke shop raid in Philadelphia

Law enforcement raided a total of five smoke shops in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

This story originally appeared on 6abc

Authorities across the region are cracking down on illegal marijuana operations.

Law enforcement raided a total of five smoke shops in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

Police said some of the shops were allegedly selling to minors.

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Only the Action News Investigative Team was there as officers with the Philadelphia Police’s Narcotics Unit raided a home and smoke shop on the 6000 block of Lansdowne Avenue in Overbook on Monday.

This shop was one of three in the city raided for allegedly selling illegal marijuana products.

The other two are on the 2200 block of South 21st Street in South Philadelphia and the 7900 block of Verree Road in Fox Chase.

Police took out boxes of evidence from the Overbrook shop, and two men were arrested and taken away in handcuffs.

Gloucester Twp. Police Captain Mark Benton said his department also raided two smoke shops last week in South Jersey: The Vape and Smoke Shop on the 400 block of East Church Street in Blackwood and the Exotic Smoke Shop on the 1200 block of Chews Landing Road in Clementon.

“They were selling narcotics specifically large quantities of marijuana,” said Captain Benton.

Police said owner Abdo Saeed faces narcotics distribution, money laundering and other charges.

Captain Benton said two employees, Ebrahim Alzabidi and Munzer Azafari, are also charged with allegedly selling synthetic urine to pass drug tests.

“These products they are specifically made to cheat your way, if you want to use, for the lack of a better term, to cheat your way through a test.” said Benton.

Both New Jersey shops were open on Thursday.

The two employees tell Action News they recently arrived here from New York to work in the shops but had no idea they were selling illegal products.

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“A lot of people would say you certainly knew what is weed and what is not weed,” asked Chad Pradelli.

“Well you can’t tell about that because you know everything is weed.”

Philadelphia police sources said the operations in the city may have ties to New York.

Overbrook residents said it was an open secret the shop was selling illegal weed.

“As the community, the neighbors, we are glad that this is happening because we don’t want it in our neighborhood,” said one resident who did not want to be identified.

A spokesperson for Philadelphia police said the department couldn’t comment as the case is now being referred to federal authorities, which doesn’t discuss open investigations.

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