Pure Gas Station Owner Facing Felony
Cops Seize Synthetic Drugs In March Raid
Posted: February 21, 2013
HARRISONBURG — The owner of a Harrisonburg gas station raided by police last year as part of a synthetic drug investigation now faces a felony charge.
On Tuesday, a Rockingham County grand jury indicted Jignesh P. Rindani, 38, of Harrisonburg, on one count of distribution of an imitation controlled substance. Rindani posted bond Tuesday after first being processed at Rockingham County Jail.
Police say Rindani owns the Pure gas station and convenience store on the corner of North Main and Gay streets in downtown.
Officers with the RUSH Drug Task Force raided the store on March 16, seizing what was described at the time as a “large quantity” of bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
The Virginia General Assembly targeted substances found in popular synthetic drugs in 2011 in an effort to stem what had previously been a legal but dangerous substance-abuse trend.
Some shops in the area, however, continued to sell bath salts, a stimulant, and other types of synthetic drugs.
Police throughout the Valley responded with a public crackdown, which Virginia State Police Special Agent Mark Campbell said has been successful.
In addition to Rindani’s business, police raided Pamela’s Secrets on South Main Street and the Exxon gas station and convenience store at the corner of University Boulevard and Reservoir Street.
The case against Augustus George Julias II, owner of Pamela’s Secrets, an adult store that has since been closed as the result of a court order, and two employees is playing out in federal court.
No charges have been filed in relation to the Exxon incident.
Campbell, coordinator of the drug task force, said businesses have gotten the message not to engage in the illicit trade.
“With all the publicity from those things and the Pamela’s Secrets case being taken federal … it’s a big reduction,” he said. “Anything we’re getting wind of is covert and more underground since we’ve been focusing on it.”
Pamela’s Secrets was temporarily shuttered in June as part of a civil process being pursued to permanently close the business.
It’s not clear yet, police and prosecutors say, if similar action will be taken with Rindani’s business.
“At this point … we’re still considering all our options,” said Christopher Bean, assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Rockingham County.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or firstname.lastname@example.org