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LI shop ordered to remove 'designer drugs'

At a press conference in Mineola around the

At a press conference in Mineola around the prescription drug abuse epidemic on Long Island, local government officials join with and in support of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's Internet System for Tracking Overprescribing (I-STOP). (Feb. 21, 2012) Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

A judge has ordered a head shop owner with stores in Stony Brook and upstate to permanently remove mislabeled illegal synthetic drugs from its shelves and pay thousands of dollars in penalties for selling the products.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the order and judgment, made by a State Supreme Court judge in Erie County, permanently bans the sale of any synthetic drugs or intoxicants commonly referred to as "designer drugs" from the shelves of Pavilion International, which has stores in Buffalo and at 1099 N. Country Rd. in Stony Brook.

Pavilion owner Pamo B. Nanwandi also was ordered to pay $22,000 in penalties.

The store is one of three Long Island head shops named in lawsuits filed by Schneiderman in July that claim they illegally sold dangerous synthetic drugs. East Coast Psychedelics in Commack and Daze Smoke Shop in Baldwin were also named in the July suit. Daze Smoke Shop had a permanent order and judgment banning sales issued July 31, the attorney general's office said. East Coast Psychedelics has a court date Sept. 6.

According to the attorney general's office, a store clerk at Pavilion offered an undercover investigator advice on which packet of "kratom" to purchase, based on the clerk's personal experiences. Kratom can lead to psychosis, hallucinations, delusion and confusion.

"The proliferation of synthetic drugs has become a crisis in Suffolk County, New York State and across the country," Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the ban. "The judge's order proves that, by taking a creative approach in using the state's existing labeling laws, we can get swift results to remove dangerous synthetic drugs off store shelves and hold sellers accountable for breaking the law."

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