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Monday, August 08, 2022

Federal agents seize drug paraphernalia from local store

Five federal agents confiscated hundreds of items considered to be drug paraphernalia from Modern Age Tobacco & Gift Shop on Thursday afternoon, a federal official said.

Barbara Gonzalez, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Southeast, said the agents were investigating a warrant.

Still, she said, there were no charges or arrests made.

The investigation is ongoing, she said.

Officials were seen filling a U-Haul truck with beige cardboard boxes Thursday.

D.W. Watkins, a retired shareholder of Modern Age Tobacco, said if he were told the items he was selling were illegal, he would have pulled them off the shelves.

"I don't wanna do anything illegal," he said.

Patrick Patton, one of Modern Age's owners, said about ,300,000 worth of merchandise was taken from the warehouse and both of the stores in the county.

Patton said the agents were unaware of the warehouse's items, so the owners willingly gave the agents about ,100,000 worth of merchandise.

Jennifer Patton, one of the owners of the store, said the agents mostly took glass and water pipes.

"We'll be back, fully operational, on Monday," Patton said.

Alligator Staff Writer Jessica DaSilva contributed to this report.

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