Monroe police have arrested four people following an undercover investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods at three city smoke shops.
The police department teamed up with the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office to confiscate numerous counterfeit CDs, counterfeit trademark containment devices, counterfeit trademark drug paraphernalia, packages of synthetic marijuana and detoxifying drinks used to alter a positive drug screen and alcohol beverages.
Police estimated the property seized was worth more than $5,000.
The items were confiscated after authorities served search warrants on Bulldog Smoke Shop at 1115-C LaSalle St., Smoker’s Depot at 1853 Dickerson Boulevard and Monroe Tobacco at 2410 West Roosevelt Boulevard.
Charged in connection with the case are Charlotte residents Maher Skef, 47, and Kanubhai Mangaldas Patel, 47, Monroe resident Lisa Ann Hartkopf, 51, Nady Hizam Zokari, 38, of Monroe.
Skef is charged with possession with intent to sell synthetic urine and possession, custody and control of a good having a counterfeit mark.
Patel faces charges of possession, custody and control of a good having a counterfeit mark and possession with the intent sell less than 100 unauthorized recorded devices, while Hartkopf is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Zokari faces charges of possession, custody and control of a good having a counterfeit mark and selling adulterants with the intent that they be used to defraud a drug-screening test.
All four suspects are due in court March 3. Police said the investigation is on-going and said more people could be charged.
Steele: 704-358-5067 on Twitter: @Steelecs
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