Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 3, 2012

K2 cases hit criminal, civil courts

WEATHERFORD —  

In the first cases of their kind in Parker County under a new state law, charges against men accused of trafficking K2 in Parker County are moving forward. 

Thursday, a Parker County grand jury indicted a business owner and clerk on first degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, more than 4 grams, less than 400 grams, with intent to deliver. 

The Parker County District Attorney’s office also filed civil seizure cases in court last week seeking property and a large amount of cash found during the synthetic cannabinoid investigation. 

Francisco Dinesh Uduwarage Don, 41, owner of Tobacco N More in the 3000 block of Ranger Highway in Parker County, was indicted on two felony charges. 

Sanka Dilhara Welihinda, 27, a clerk at the business, was indicted on one charge. 

Weatherford-Parker County Special Crimes Unit investigators executed a search warrant at the business on Aug. 31, finding nearly 890 packages of synthetic cannabinoids in the business, cash and financial records. 

Both men told investigators they knew the products were illegal to sell and kept the K2 hidden within the store, selling it only to trusted, known customers, according to the Parker County sheriff’s office.

“From the records which were seized, we can accurately state the suspects were making a daily average profit of $3,100,” SCU Commander, sheriff’s Lt. Mike Camp said. “At least 95 percent of those sales were directly from K2.”

Uduwarage, who has owned the store since January, was arrested again within hours of bonding out of jail on Sept. 4, accused of possessing additional quantities of K2 located in a storage facility. 

 

The trials of testing 

Several factors have slowed enforcement of the law since it took affect more than a year ago, according to investigators and prosecutors. 

From some manufacturers altering the chemical makeup of products to escape the law to lack of field test kits to DPS testing backlogs, investigators have faced several hurdles in making a case in a timely fashion. 

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