[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish deputies arrest 9 convenience store clerks caught selling "crack pipes" on tape

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri May 29 17:13:35 EDT 2009

St. Bernard Parish deputies arrest 9 convenience store clerks caught selling
"crack pipes" on tape
by Chris Kirkham, The Times-Picayune
Friday May 29, 2009, 3:27 PM
The man walks into Amin's Quick Stop in Chalmette, buys two pieces of fried
chicken and casually asks the store clerk for "two crack pipes and chore

The clerk complies, hands over the two glass pipes and copper cleaning
sponge, and the man walks out of the store.

The scene was captured on camera a month ago and the purchaser was an
undercover informant for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office. That clerk
and eight others were arrested Thursday and booked with distribution of drug
paraphernalia by the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office, after the informant
compiled weeks worth of video in an operation meant to cut down on sales of
pipes and other drug accessories in the parish.

Dubbed "Operation Pipe Dreams," the investigation by the Sheriff's Office,
came after numerous complaints from residents who saw the items being sold
explicitly as drug paraphernalia, sometimes in front of children.

The informant explicitly asked clerks for "crack pipes" and "a bong, to
smoke marijuana out of."

The Sheriff's Office seized more than 500 pipes from seven different
convenience stores.

The glass pipes are often sold as novelty items. For example, the items sold
as "crack pipes" are often sold with a silk rose inside and called a "glass
rose." Some stores had "glass pens," where the cartridge for an ink pen can
be removed and filled with crack.

Sheriff's officials said Friday that selling such items is legal, but not
when merchants are aware they will be used in connection with illegal drugs.

All the arrests are misdemeanors. Arrested Thursday were Bazaar Zahran, 35,
of Gretna; Raed Thabata, 32, of Terrytown; Rashed Thabata, 28, of Terrytown;
Amer Ahmad, 27, of New Orleans; Ehab Ayyad, 36, of New Orleans; Kary Aziz,
45, of Arabi; Hisham Deeb, 45, of Chalmette; Shadi Mubarak, 31, of Metairie;
and Hikmet Mustafa Abdelgad Rabee, 45, of Abita Springs.

More information about the StBernard mailing list