Smoke shop owner in trouble with police
By: Stu Salkeld
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 06:00 am
The owner of a local smoke shop has run into some legal trouble in the Wetaskiwin area.
Chad Larry Wentworth, 32, a resident of Bowden, owner of the Chad Smoke Shop 420 retail chain of stores across Alberta, was charged with numerous drug-related offences Sept. 19, including two counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking synthetic cannabis, one count of selling instruments for illicit drug use and one count of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.
Wetaskiwin RCMP also noted Wentworth was charged in Leduc with two counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking synthetic cannabis.
According to Wetaskiwin RCMP, their investigation began in April of 2012 after police were informed a female was hospitalized after smoking a product being sold as herbal incense from The Chad Smoke Shop 420 in Wetaskiwin. During the investigation police determined, with the assistance of Health Canada Drug Analysis Service, that the products being sold – known as Stinger and Zap’r, actually contained a controlled substance similar to cannabis marijuana, which is illegal under schedule two of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
RCMP stated police searched The Chad Smoke Shop 420 located in Wetaskiwin and Leduc. In addition, a residence in Leduc was also searched. The searches resulted in numerous herbal incense products being seized, as well as a large quantity of instruments for illicit drug use such as pipes, grinders, and bongs.
Wetaskiwin RCMP noted Wentworth was charged along with a number of accomplices.
Wentworth’s name will be familiar to Gazette readers after the city cracked down on drug paraphernalia through bylaw changes. Wentworth appeared at a city council meeting in 2012 and had a confrontation with council.
Wentworth challenged the bylaw changes and won. However, the City of St. Albert appealed, and according to city communications officer Sheelagh Caygill Thursday, “The appeal will be heard on Oct. 30, 2013, and the city would expect a decision in the months following.”
The Gazette contacted the local Chad’s Smoke Shop outlet Thursday and asked if either Stinger or Zap’r are on the shelves. The staff member stated the local Chad’s doesn’t sell those products.
The local RCMP, though, noted the place was raided Sept. 19. “On September 19, 2013, St. Albert RCMP, working in conjunction with Leduc and Wetaskiwin RCMP, attended the Chad 420 Smoke Shop in St. Albert and seized an undisclosed amount of synthetic cannabinoids,” stated Cpl. Laurel Kading. “The synthetic cannabinoids were for sale as “synthetic marijuana” but were in fact a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
“The synthetic marijuana was sold in about 2 gram bags for a cost of $80 per bag. The investigation into the sale of these synthetic cannabinoids is on-going and no charges have been laid at this time in St. Albert.”
Wentworth was released by a justice of the peace on a $2,500 cash bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Leduc on Oct. 3 and then in Wetaskiwin on Oct. 17.