Officers raided a neighborhood convenience store they say was the site of some shady business. Besides selling food and drinks, investigators said a Hollywood Kwik Stop was dealing drugs, guns and even taking part in an elaborate food stamp fraud scam.
Police said the store front was literally a "front." The main product going in and out of the Kwik Stop was allegedly spice. It’s a synthetic marijuana that can have lethal effects.
A customer looking to score some of the drug said, "All I know is that I just come here to buy spice, its God’s honest truth. I come up here twice a day with 20 , 40 people daily."
The Hollywood convenience store may have been a little too convenient according to both customers and police.
A customer said, "I know about 7, 8 people who come here every day, with about $500 a day spent at this place. 20 grams, $10 bags."
Wednesday night Hollywood’s Vice Intelligence Narcotics Unit put a dent in this busy business, wrapping up a 6 month drug sting.
Lt. Derik Alexander said, "This is a dangerous situation where a convenience store where people would come to presumably buy staples for the home has become a market place for that type of drug. Obviously it was a danger most importantly to the kids, the number one consumer of spice, what we call k2 are juveniles."
Investigators removed at least 375 bags of Spice from the Kwik Stop. They arrested 36-year-old Ayman Sulaiman, and say he’s the owner.
"We are very glad we were able to get this individual arrested and hopefully they’ll shut his business down so he can no longer serve those types of things to our community," Alexander said.
The suspects alleged criminal activity doesn’t stop with the Spice trade. Police said undercover detectives also purchased crack cocaine and discussed buying guns in exchange for drugs. Detectives also found an elaborate welfare benefit fraud scheme paying customers 50 cents on the dollar.
"For instance if you had a hundred dollar snap benefit card, he would run your card through a system, he would give you approximately $50 and keep the rest," Alexander said.
When SWAT raided the business, the suspect’s children were inside the store. The suspect also faces several other charges that are still being sorted out as investigators take inventory.
Sulaiman faces several charges, including drug possession, EBT card fraud and petty larceny.