A Sun Staff Report
PELHAM -- Following what police say was a six-month investigation into the sale of synthetic marijuana in town, a local business owner is facing charges.
Christopher Matte, 43, is owner Ace Discount Cigarettes at 30 Bridge St. On Friday, he was charged with two counts of felony sale of drugs after police conducted search warrants at two locations, one of which was Matte's store.
Police say charges stem from the distribution of synthetic marijuana, also commonly known as "Spice."
Upon executing the search warrants, Pelham detectives and state troopers say they recovered about $7,000 in cash along with over 100 individual bags of synthetic marijuana. They say the individual bags were being sold for $19.99.
Police say that during the investigation, detectives were able to gather information on where the items were sold and who was selling them. Often these items were not in the public's view and would-be buyers needed code names to make purchases.
However, police say detectives were able to use an undercover officer to make several controlled buys of the synthetic marijuana directly from Matte. Several different brands were bought throughout the investigation.
The products were then sent to the NH State lab for analysis.
Ace Discount Cigarettes was burglarized in October 2013, at which time Matte claimed nothing was taken. Investigators later learned that his entire supply of synthetic marijuana had been targeted and stolen.
Police said detectives met with Matte several months ago and requested he halt any further sales, due to the amount of issues users were having after ingesting the products he was selling.
Matte, who lives in Hudson, was booked at the Pelham Police Department and later bailed on $10,000 personal recognizance bail. He has a court date of Sept. 22 at Salem District Court.
Further arrests are expected, police said.