Middletown smoke shop busted; authorities say owner selling synthetic drugs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville smoke shop is busted, and the owner is now facing charges.

It happened on Friday afternoon after police received a drug complaint, leading them to the Oxmoor apartments off Shelbyville Road with a search warrant.

“The target of the investigation was actually seen leaving the leasing office with the package, and that's when he was detained,” said Det. Brett Hankison with Louisville Metro Police.

Police say they were at the apartment complex to search the package.

“The package was what we believe to be a synthetic drug from Indonesia, approximately 21 kilograms,” Det. Hankison said.

Police say the substance is an unknown powder that has not been given FDA approval. They are now in the process of testing the powder.

Authorities say Tariq Bayoud, 29, allowed officers to search his apartment, storage unit and his Middletown business called Trippy's Smoke Shop, also known as Jordan Smoke Shop.

Flex unit detectives from LMPD's 6th and 8th Division were in on the search and say they found suspected synthetic drugs.

While WDRB was there, a UPS worker also dropped off another shipment that police confiscated.

Police say the powder they intercepted during this UPS delivery was Kratom, a Southeast Asian herbal leaf.

“It's not a controlled substance or approved substance by the FDA. So that's our main concern - what is being added to this chemical,” Det. Hankison said.

Authorities say the substance is being mixed with other substances and repackaged, making it dangerous. 

"People will get this in from overseas and they'll add their own narcotics to it or their own substances to make it go farther, last longer, or give people a different feeling of euphoria or intoxication," said Det. Hankison.

They intercepted several shipments on Friday of suspected synthetic drugs, valued at nearly $100,000.

It's not the first time police say that Bayoud has been charged.

“LMPD Metro Narcotics unit executed a search warrant on the same business, the same owner, back in August 2015,” Det. Hankison said.

Court documents show in August 2015, he was charged with trafficking in a synthetic drugs and criminal simulation.

“I believe at that time that liquid spice was found in the store at that time for sale,” Det. Hankison said.

That case is still playing out in court.

Bayoud is now charged again with trafficking in a synthetic drug as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities continue investigating this latest case.

Trippy's Smoke Shop remains open. Bayoud denied the allegations against him and tells WDRB he's done nothing wrong.

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