An Omar man has pleaded guilty to two counts of selling synthetic marijuana.
Ronald Eugene Cooke, 74, entered the pleas to two charges of delivery of Schedule I controlled substances, non-narcotic (known as synthetic marijuana) on Aug. 20 before Wyoming County Circuit Judge Warren McGraw.
Cooke was sentenced to two terms of not less than one year nor more than five years in the custody of the Division of Corrections to run concurrently. The sentence was suspended and Cooke was placed on supervised probation for two years.
Cooke will also forfeit and relinquish all of his right, title and interest in the case in the amount of $6,043, the real property known now as Hillbilly Discount Store, 1104 Cook Parkway in Oceana and a 2013 Toyota Tacoma to Prosecuting Attorney Mike Cochrane on behalf of the West Virginia Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
Cooke can no longer own and operate a business in Wyoming County effective Sept. 30, 2015.
The real property will be sold at public auction later this year.
“We consider this case to be a major victory in our joint efforts to stop the illegal drug trade here in Wyoming County,” said Cochrane. “The effects of synthetic marijuana are so dangerous that it had led to very severe health issues to users.
“We hope that this sends the lesson to the general public that this type of activity will never be tolerated in this county,” he added.l
“We were receiving several complaints from the public about the sale of synthetic marijuana at this location,” said Sheriff Randall Aliff. “With any illegal activity, we will arrest, prosecute and seize all assets to the fullest extent possible.”
Cochrane and Aliff also commended the Southern West Virginia Drug and Violent Crime Task Force in the investigation and prosecution of the matter.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.