The teen was identified by South Brunswick police as Mazen Abdelhamid, 19, of Monmouth Junction. He did not have a license to sell e-cigarettes, and marijuana and THC candies are illegal.
Police say they started the investigation two months ago, after they noticed “a marked increase” in teens at South Brunswick High using e-cigarettes, such as Juul, with THC oil inside.
South Brunswick police say that Abdelhamid advertised on SnapChat and Instagram that he was selling cartridges, raw marijuana and THC candies named “Stoney Patch Kids,” which looked similar to the real candy Sour Patch Kids. Police say Abdelhamid used Snapchat to solicit sales and offered to drive to meet buyers in the area. On two occasions in the past month, South Brunswick residents reported Abdelhamid as possibly selling drugs in different neighborhoods, police said.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service joined the investigation and identified three suspicious packages were sent to Abdelhamid during the second week of July, police said.
The investigation came to a head this past Friday, July 12 when detectives and undercover postal inspectors were monitoring the Northumberland Apartment complex. Police said they watched as a mail carrier left the three packages in a hallway in front of an apartment, and within minutes detectives observed Kimani Daniel, 18, of Monmouth Junction pick up the packages in the hallway.
Detectives approached Daniel who said the packages were going to be picked up by a 17-year-old in a few minutes.
Police arrested Daniel, the 17-year-old (unnamed as he is a juvenile) and Abdelhamid, who was waiting in his apartment in the complex next door.
The three packages contained $6,400 worth of narcotics including 160 e-cigarette cartridges
containing THC, said police.
Abdelhamid and Daniel were each charged with possession of over five ounces of hashish (high concentration THC) with intent to distribute, possession of over five ounces of hashish, and
employing a juvenile in a CDS distribution scheme. The juvenile was charged in distribution scheme.
“The marked increase in Juul usage and the difficulty in detecting THC in the e-cigarettes is making juveniles more susceptible to dealers,” said South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka. “This group used Instagram and other social media to buy the drugs and market themselves to young people … Stopping this group and raising awareness for parents is key to getting ahead of this growing trend.”