Starke grocery store owner faces drug charges

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 3:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 3:12 p.m.

The owner of Edwards Grocery on State Road 100 in Starke has been arrested after the Bradford County Sheriff’s Drug Unit said several sources reported that illegal drugs were being traded and sold at the business.

At about 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, sheriff’s detectives said they witnessed a drug transaction in progress and immediately moved in to close down the business, located at 4105 SE SR 100. The property is located less than 1,000 feet from a private elementary school, which resulted in additional charges.

After arresting store owner Don Hapuarachchi, sheriff’s detectives served a search warrant on the business and said they found over 1,000 packs of synthetic marijuana. Sources in the investigation stated each pack was being sold for $20 by the business, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hapuarachchi was transported to the Bradford County Jail on two counts of trafficking hydrocodone and two counts of possession of an illegal drug with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school.

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