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Posted on: March 10, 2023

Portsmouth Police seize drugs, firearms during flea market pot shop bust

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth Police announced it detained 41 adults and seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana at a “pop-up” flea market last night on High Street.

No one at the shop admitted to ownership of the products, so the people detained were released, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Police said officers were met by an armed security guard outside of the market. Police said they secured 13 firearms found inside the market. Investigators also found THC-infused products disguised as popular candies, which, police said, poses a serious threat to children.

In a phone conversation with 10 On Your Side, Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins said the department and the city is sending a message that crime does not belong in the city.

“Obviously we are trying to send an appropriate message to not only respond concerns but also to individuals with the intention of letting them know that Portsmouth is not a place to come and do crime,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to do whatever we can to address the criminal issues in the city.”

Public records indicate the shop is registered to “R’mayez Smoke Shop,” though a search warrant states it is not a legal dispensary. The release from police stated that people traveled from across Virginia to go to the market.

A city official shared photos with us from the raid, while a social media account advertised in the flea market is linked to a Telegram messaging threat with more than 1,800 members and months of activity. The owner of the threat posted “closed right now” at 6:05 p.m., about 20 minutes after police say they arrived. 

Police say that there are no charges yet, as the operation is under investigation. Under state code, it is illegal to sell, distribute or possess with intent to sell marijuana. Possession of more than five pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by five to 30 years in prison.

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