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updated: 6/17/2013 1:20 PM

Itasca shopkeeper gets probation for synthetic drugs

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  • Sureshbhai Patel

      Sureshbhai Patel

 

An Itasca shopkeeper has been sentenced to two years of probation for carrying synthetic marijuana in his store.

Sureshbhai Patel, 54, of Des Plaines, pleaded guilty Friday to felony possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced by DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin, according to court records.

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Patel was charged in June 2012 after investigators with the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group seized about 75 grams of synthetic marijuana from Itasca Tobacco, 1215 W. Irving Park Road.

Police said Patel was aware the substance had been banned in Illinois but continued to stock it off-site and sell it to interested customers. He and co-worker James Barker of Itasca were arrested after investigators conducted a series of undercover purchases, authorities said.

The charges against Barker, 29, were dismissed in January, according to court records.

Patel, of the 2000 block of Pine Street, could have faced up to three years in prison if convicted at trial. He received credit for one day served in the county jail.

Court records show Patel also faces ordinance violations alleging he sold drug paraphernalia and violated a zoning code by distributing pornography. He's due back in court Tuesday.

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