Law enforcement seized nearly 500 pieces of candy marijuana edibles packaged to look like Nerd ropes from a Jordan home and arrested a man with an alleged history of trafficking such products.
“Have a look at the pictures of the product,” the Jordan Police Department said in a statement issued Wednesday, accompanied by photos of the haul. “It’s rather obvious this type of product is being marketed towards our children.”
Jameel R. Zeno, 28, has been charged in Scott County District Court with two felony drug counts and is due back in court on April 16.
Zeno was charged earlier with similar drug offenses and felony weapons possession after being stopped for speeding in late November with a 2-year-old boy in the back seat, 10 ounces of leafy marijuana, 50 THC cartridges, nine bags of THC gummies, two boxes of cannabis oil, a pistol and ammunition.
His attorney, Robert Paule, said late Wednesday, “Mr. Zeno is presumed innocent of all charges and looks forward to clearing his name in court."
Edibles infused with cannabis extract have become a popular way to sell marijuana, and many are made where it is legal and then shipped, sold and used in Minnesota and other jurisdictions where the product is illegal.
They are often packaged to look nearly identical to popular candies, snacks and beverages and may be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Like vaping products, edibles are often disguised with fruit or candy flavors, which authorities said target children.
“We need to focus on educating parents, teachers and children to the dangers of the potency of these products and the long-term health risks associated with potential addiction,” said Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen.
According to the charges and a search warrant affidavit:
On Feb. 20, law enforcement took trash bags left for pickup outside Zeno’s home in the 100 block of W. 6th Street. Inside were glass containers with THC residue and syrup, a cannabis package and other drug-related evidence. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.
Tests on a sample of the illicit drug items seized traced them back to California.
On Feb. 26, regional drug task-force agents entered the home, arrested Zeno and searched the premises. They located a duffel bag under a bed with 498 Nerd ropes that tested positive for THC.
Also seized at the scene were two large plastic bags with marijuana packaged for sale, a sandwich bag with leafy marijuana, a wax vial containing THC, a scale and cash.