|Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office|
|Wayne C. Chiaverini: “They say I do, but I don’t sell marijuana from the store”|
Sportsman’s Lodge and Store in Salt Springs, Florida is a store where you could buy soda, chips, bread, fishing tackle… and marijuana, according to police.
A 47-year-old clerk was arrested Thursday on allegations of selling pot from the store, where he is an employee.
Wayne C. Chiaverini was charged with selling marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and two counts of possession, reports Austin L. Miller at Ocala.com.
After snitches told police that marijuana was being sold from the store, officers from the Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement Team conducted two separate transactions — one in February and another in July — where Chiaverini reportedly sold pot to confidential informants at the store and from his home.
After the February sale, agents obtained a search warrant in March and arrested Chiaverini at home. He bonded out, but police said they continued to receive complains about Chiaverini selling weed, so they conducted a second operation for the store in July.
Agents decided they had enough evidence on Monday and drafted two search warrants and two arrest warrants for Chiaverini.
Police went to the store on Thursday and arrested Chiaverini.
While excuting the search warrant, agents claimed Chiaverini, the clerk on duty, slipped to the back of the store and put some marijuana in a trash can.
Officers said they found a black bank bag containing 11 baggies of marijuana, weighing a total of 24 grams, in the trash can at the back of the store.
“It was mine,” Chiaverini said about the pot. “I broke the law. I shouldn’t have the marijuana.”
Chiaverini said his sister owns the store, which she opened five years ago. He said he’s worked there for three years as a clerk.
“They say I do, but I don’t sell marijuana from the store,” Chiaverini said from the jail Thursday night.
Chiaverini admitted that he smokes marijuana and has sold it, but that was “a while back.”
When Chiaverini was arrested on March 12 at his home, officials claimed he had 1/4 pound of marijuana. In that case, he was charged with possession of marijuana, more than 20 grams, with intent to distribute, and possession of “drug paraphernalia.”
Chiaverini disputed that claim, admitting the marijuana found at his belonged to him, but maintaining it was only 10 grams, not a quarter-pound.