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Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley. A Randolph County Sheriff's Department patrol unit stands outside the Tobacco & Vapor Outlet in Valley Pointe on Beverly Five-Lane on Tuesday. The business was shut down by the RCSO after a search warrant was executed.

ELKINS – Two local vape shops were shut down by police Tuesday after law enforcement served a search warrant on one of the stores and allegedly found illegal drugs.

Both the Tobacco & Vapor Outlet in Valley Pointe and the Tobacco & Vape Shop on Harrison Avenue were shut down by law enforcement on Tuesday. Randolph County Sheriff's officers went to the location on Beverly Five-Lane to execute a warrant related to another crime. Officers found illegal drugs and another warrant was issued, Randolph County Sheriff Rob Elbon said.

“We wanted to execute an arrest warrant for another investigation and in the meantime we saw things that they were not supposed to sell,” said Elbon. “So we got another search warrant for the illegal drugs and went back with it.”

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County District Court, police allegedly found a large bag of marijuana in plain sight upon entering the Valley Pointe store. Officers also discovered two scales with marijuana on them and small, clear plastic bags near the cash register.

The West Virginia State Police and the Elkins Police Department attended the scene where Salman Al Mardai of Brooklyn, New York was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to resell. Al Mardai, 31, is currently being held at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash bond set by Randolph County Magistrate Tracy Harper.

Elbon said the two locations were closed after he learned that the companies had not paid inventory taxes to both stores for the past two or three years.

On Wednesday, Randolph County Sheriff's Office signs were posted on the front doors of both stores, reading: “Notice of Closure, West Virginia Code 11A-2-1. Duty of Sheriff to Enforce Payment of Delinquent Taxes. When taxes become delinquent, it shall be the duty of the Sheriff to take prompt steps to enforce payment by the methods prescribed in sections two, three, and seven of this article.”

“We replaced the locks on both doors on Tuesday,” said Elbon. “And we removed all electronic devices from the one store in Valley Pointe.”



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