HOUSTON (FOX 26) - During a joint news conference on Thursday afternoon, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the seizure of 600 pounds of synthetic cannabinoid, known as 'kush,' with a street value of more than $2.5 million.
Mohamed Ebrahim Moton, 47, and Ataur Rehman Malik, 38, were arrested following an investigation into the manufacturing and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids in the Houston area. Both men are charged with delivery of synthetic cannabinoids.
The HPD Narcotics Division conducted the seizure.
Anyone who suspects that convenience stores or dealers are trying to sell kush should report them to the HPD Narcotics Division by visiting stopdrugshouston.org.
The HPD Narcotics Division initiated an investigation in September 2016 that identified an organization involved in the manufacturing and distribution of 'kush' in the Houston, Corpus Christi and Austin areas. Investigators later identified Moton as a suspect in the case.
Investigators conducted an undercover operation on Feb. 10 at an apartment complex on Bissonnet Street where Moton was observed carrying two large trash bags, later determined to contain 'kush' and placed them into the trunk of a vehicle parked at the location. Investigators later witnessed Malik approach the vehicle, open the trunk and remove the contents. Malik then conducted a narcotics transaction with a unknown individual.
HPD Narcotics Division investigators executed an arrest warrant at a home on Mulholland Drive near Keegan Road in southwest Houston on Tuesday. They took Moton into custody. During the operation, investigators found around 550 pounds of 'kush' being prepared for distribution and other narcotics paraphernalia. In addition, they recovered ten pounds of 'kush' at various storage units identified during the investigation.
Malik was taken into custody on Wednesday following the execution of an arrest warrant, where a weapon and currency were also recovered.
Some of the 'kush' tested positive for paint thinner, a poisonous substance, that was manufactured in a home.