By Tamara Evans and Antoinette Konz

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Six suspects accused of selling illegal drugs inside four Louisville smoke shops appeared before a judge Monday morning for the first time.

WDRB spent six months investigating this story, and at one of the shops in question, we found an illegal drug.

The six men accused of selling and trafficking synthetic drugs are Naser Alfawair, Mohammed Faory, Thamir Faory, Fadi Faouri, Mohammed Kassim, and Shadi Alfaouri.

The men all work, manage or own four shops in Louisville. That includes Shop Today Smoke Shop on Hunsinger Lane, Shop Today Two on South Hurstbourne Lane, Hubbly Bubby on Bardstown Road, and VIP Smoke Shop on South Third Street.

Last month, WDRB brought you our undercover investigation where we bought an illegal liquid spice known as "Bizarro" from the Shop Today Smoke Shop. We had the liquid tested, and it had a chemical inside called AB-Pinica, which is banned by the DEA.

The chemicals are dangerous, and teens ingesting the liquid often end up in the hospital.

LMPD was also investigating, and busted the four shops.

"We recovered some liquid spice," said LMPD Detective Steve Healey. "We recovered some solid spice, large amounts of cash, and some firearms."

The six men accused are charged with trafficking in synthetic drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal syndication (engaging in organized crime), criminal simulations, and unlawful use or investment of drug-related income.

They were indicted last week by a Grand Jury.

Today, not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf. They and their attorneys all declined to comment for this story after they left the courtroom. They were all released on their own recognizance, with the condition that they would appear back in court and not commit a crime while they are out. They are due back in court in January.

LMPD detectives say teens are getting their hands on synthetic drugs locally, sometimes hiding the drugs in fake soda cans and bottles with a false top. 

"But when you screw the top of it off, you can conceal your narcotics in there," said Det. Healey.

LMPD detectives are urging parents to be proactive, looking for any drug paraphernalia that may send up warning flags.

Click here to see WDRB's undercover investigation on illegal drugs in smoke shops.

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