HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Hollywood Police say they’ve busted a convenience store owner who was dealing drugs and offering to exchange guns for narcotics.
Hollywood Police descended on the Kwik Stop in the 5600 hundred block of Hollywood Boulevard around 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon after a 6 month undercover investigation and took the owner into custody.
Investigators allege he was selling drugs, offering guns for drugs and committing food stamp fraud.
“He was doing a whole host of illegal activities inside this particular location,” said Lt. Derik Alexander.
CBS 4 cameras rolled as undercover detectives loaded up a police car with evidence, which they say includes at least 350 bags of Spice, or synthetic marijuana.
“Obviously this is a dangerous, dangerous situation where a convenience store where people would come to buy staples for the home has become a marketplace for this type of drug,” said Lt. Alexander.
Police would not identify the suspect in the back of a police car in front of the store but his wife and attorney identified him as Ayman Sulaiman. His wife said Sulaiman does not own the store. Police say he does.
CBS 4 News spoke to a customer who declined to share his identity but did share his knowledge of the store.
“What did you know that you could get here?” a reporter asked the man. He replied, “You could get your synthetic marijuana, as they like call it. Also known as Spice.”
Lawrence Hashish says he is Sulaiman’s attorney. He said he did not know enough about the allegations to comment but said the allegations are out of character for Sulaiman.
“He’s a family man,” Hashish said. “Seven kids and a hard worker.”
The attorney also questioned the way the arrest was made. He said it appears that two of Sulaiman’s kids were in the store when police came in with guns out.
“Having guns drawn on children for no reason?” he said. “That’s just silly.”
Lt. Alexander said he wasn’t sure exactly how the arrest went down but based on the allegations he said it was possible that guns were drawn.
“In this instance we had a subject that was in negotiations to give us an SKS assault rifle and numerous other handguns,” he explained. “I’m pretty sure that if they went inside without knowing who all was inside the store that their firearm was probably unholstered and used.”
After police left, the suspect’s family and attorney shuttered the store while investigators said they believe the arrest makes the community safer.
“We’re very glad that we’ve been able to get this individual arrested and hopefully we’ll shut his business down so that he can no longer serve those types of things to our community,” Lt. Alexander said.
Police tell us that Sulaiman will be booked into the Broward County Jail and is expected to face a number of charges.