Store owner charged with selling drugs released from jail
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
A 56-year-old Alabaster convenience store owner charged with selling synthetic drugs has been released from the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $45,000, and is scheduled to reappear in court later this month.
Hoover resident Ali Reza Samanifar posted the bond on June 24, which was several weeks after he was arrested on May 7 by the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, along with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Alcohol Beverage Control Board and charged with three felony counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.
The arrest came during the agencies’ Project Synergy Phase II, which was a national law enforcement effort targeting manufacturers and distributors of synthetic drugs.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, undercover investigators allegedly made “multiple undercover purchases of illegal cannabionids” at Samanifar’s store, A&S Food Mart at 630 First Street S. in Alabaster.
Officers arrested Samanifar at his Hoover residence and charged him with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and investigators executed a search warrant at his store after he was arrested.
According to court records, Samanifar previously was arrested on three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance for allegedly selling synthetic drugs at his store in May 2013. He was out on bond on the 2013 charges when he was arrested on May 7.
Samanifar was indicted on the 2013 charges in January, and currently is awaiting trial on those charges.
Although Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves originally was holding Samanifar without bond on the 2013 charges after the suspect’s May 7 arrest, Reeves reinstated the original bond amount on the 2013 charges on June 24.
The original bond reinstatement allowed Samanifar to post the $45,000 bond on the three 2014 unlawful distribution of a controlled substance charges. He is scheduled to appear in court again on July 23 at 8:30 a.m.