November 23, 2014

Elyria
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Police seize weapons, bath salts at Elyria shop

Elyria police execute a search warrant Wednesday night at the Kush shop, 306 Broad St., in downtown Elyria. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)

ELYRIA — A raid at a downtown Elyria business yielded guns and drugs, according to Elyria Police, who arrested two employees of the store.

The Elyria Police Department Neighborhood Impact Unit and the Special Response Team executed search warrants at Kush, 306 Broad St., at 5:48 p.m. Wednesday, as well as an employee’s house in the 300 block of Furnace Street.

Officers seized five handguns, a M11 automatic pistol, AK-47 assault rifle, approximately 700 grams of bath salts, small amounts of heroin and marijuana, scales, packaging material and smoking devices, according to a police report. Police also seized $15,649 in cash, a 2011 Harley-Davidson Road King and a 2009 Ford Ranger pickup.

Two employees, Ricardo Pamplin, 29, and David Jones, 43, were arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance and having weapons under disability. They were taken to Lorain County Jail, where they were held without bond.

Lt. Chris Costantino said the majority of items seized were found in the store. He declined to comment why officers raided the store or whether an alleged burglary at Jones’ home Monday led to the raid.

“It’s part of an ongoing investigation and information from various sources,” he said.

On Monday, a 16-year-old relative of Pamplin was arrested after police said Jones had video surveillance of the boy breaking into his home. Jones reported that $170 in cash was taken.

According to a police report, the boy admitted to burglarizing the home with two friends, one of whom he said walked out of the home with “big bags of weed.”

Pamplin was later arrested and charged with domestic violence after the 16-year-old told police Pamplin confronted him, hitting him in the face with a pistol.

Jones denied witnessing the incident but told officers that he and Pamplin went to look for the boy to confront him.
This isn’t the first time that the business has been under scrutiny by local law enforcement.

In November 2011, the Lorain County Drug Task Force raided Kush, where officers said 44 grams of bath salts were discovered. Pamplin was arrested and charged with possession of drugs during the raid.

The drugs, which can cause paranoia and hallucinations in users, were banned by the Drug Enforcement Agency in October 2011 while the agency conducted testing of the drug. Two dozen of the most common forms of bath salts were banned federally in July, but the DEA has said drug makers are constantly adjusting chemical formulas to create new synthetic drugs not covered by federal laws.

Costantino said it appears as if the drugs confiscated were being sold illegally out of the store. He complimented the officers who made the arrests.

“Our guys did a great deal all around to get these guns off the street,” he said.

Pamplin and Jones were arraigned Thursday in Elyria Municipal Court, where they each entered no plea. They were ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.