Store owner pleads not guilty to drug charges

Published 4:36 pm Friday, January 15, 2016

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 56-year-old Hoover man, who is facing several charges alleging he sold synthetic marijuana at his convenience store in Alabaster, has pleaded not guilty to some of the charges, according to Shelby County Circuit Court records.



Ali Reza Samanifar, who lists an address on Pine Cliff Circle in Hoover, was arrested on May 7, 2014, 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.

A Shelby County grand jury indicted Samanifar on three counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance during its January 2014 session. According to the indictment, the suspect allegedly sold synthetic marijuana at the A&S Convenience Store at 630 First St. S. on May 14, 21 and 23, 2013.

He also has been charged with selling synthetic marijuana from the store on Jan. 13, 14 and 18, 2014.

Samanifar entered not guilty pleas in December 2015 to the three charges stemming from the 2013 incidents, and is now set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m.

Samanifar has been indicted on the charges tied to the 2014 incidents, but he has not yet entered pleas on those charges.

The suspect currently is out on bail pending resolution of his cases.