Ibrehim Bechwati, 40, is charged with possession of controlled substance for sale, distribution of controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm, commission of a felony while armed, possession of metal knuckles for sale, possession of a billy club for sale and possession of a switchblade knife for sale.
He was arrested when officers served a search warrant at Hi-Times Tobacco, 3310 N. Tracy Blvd., and a home in Dublin, according to a press release Thursday from Sgt. Alex Neicu of the Tracy Police Department.
It's unclear if Bechwati is the owner or an employee of the store. It's also unknown if the Dublin residence searched by police is his.
During a search of the store, located in the Valley Shopping Center on the corner of Tracy Boulevard and Clover Road, officers confiscated anabolic steroids, a semi-automatic Glock pistol and other illegal weapons including metal knuckles, batons and butterfly knives.
More than $40,000 was taken as evidence during the search.
Officers from the Special Investigations Unit of the Tracy police also collected more than 600 vials of bath salts, a synthetic form of methamphetamine, according to Neicu.
Each vial contained 0.5 gram, and the street value is estimated at $34,000.
Bechwati is being held on $388,000 bail at San Joaquin County Jail, and is scheduled to appear in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, according to the jail website.
Bath salts are known by many street names including “glass cleaner” and are ingested by snorting, swallowing or injecting, according to the release.
The salts have similar effects to methamphetamine and are used as an alternative to that drug.
Usage can cause agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, chest pains and high blood pressure. The package label states: "Not for human consumption."
It is not known if the Hi-Times Tobacco store will be closed following the search or what led to the store being investigated.
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