Four charged in smoke shop raids
Monroe police with the assistance of the Department of North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force have seized $5,000 worth of counterfeit goods and arrested four people after the execution of three search warrants.
The arrests came as the result of an undercover investigation involving counterfeit goods and drug paraphernalia being sold from the businesses.
Maher Skef, 47, of 12735 Bullock Greenway Blvd., Charlotte, was arrested at Bulldog Smoke Shop at 1115-C LaSalle Street, Kanubhai Mangaldas Patel, 47, of 11214 Sedgemoor Lane, Charlotte, and Lisa Ann Hartkopf, 51, of 711 Winding Way Drive, Monroe, were arrested at Smoker’s Depot at 1853 Dickerson Boulevard and Nady Hizam Zokari, 38, of 2410 W. Roosevelt Boulevard, Monroe, was arrested at Monroe Tobacco at 2410 W. Roosevelt Boulevard, according to a statement from the Monroe Police Department.
Officers seized counterfeit CD’s, counterfeit trademark containment devices, counterfeit trademark drug paraphernalia, packages of synthetic marijuana, detoxifying drinks used to alter a positive drug screen and alcoholic beverages. The four people arrested at the businesses were charged in connection with the items that were seized.
Skef was charged with possession with intent to sell synthetic urine and have possession, custody, control of a good having a counterfeit mark.
Patel was charged with possession, custody, control of a good having a counterfeit mark and possession with intent to sell less than 100 unauthorized recording devices.
Hartkopf was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Zokari was charged with possession, custody, control of a good having a counterfeit mark and sell adulterants with intent that they may be used to defraud a drug-screening test.
All four defendants have a pending court date of March 3. The investigation is ongoing and possible further charges are pending, according to the Monroe Police Department statement.