ST. LOUIS -- One of the repercussions of a recent raid by federal agents on local convenience stores could be political fallout, with at least one local committeeman pointing to c-stores and tobacco retailing as a negative influence on his community, according to Fox News affiliate KTVI.
Rasheen Aldridge, Fifth Ward democratic committeeman in St. Louis, wants to see fewer c-stores in north St. Louis County and those that are left to offer “better” merchandise. While campaigning last year, Aldridge said residents spoke to him about customer mistreatment by c-store owners, seeing tobacco sold to young people without age verification and the sale of single cigarettes. Aldridge said tobacco products were too plentiful.
“People walk into gas stations and you just see all the different tobacco products that they sell on top of being a kind of grocery, convenience store, going to almost a tobacco store/convenience store,” Aldridge said.
Aldridge comments come in the wake of federal agents raiding dozens of convenience stores in northern St. Louis County, Mo., on May 23 over possible synthetic-drug sales and cigarette sales across state lines, the KTVI report said.
Locations allegedly include Mally’s Markets, 6 Star Market and Northway Market, among others, the report said.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service participated in the raids, with support from St. Louis-area police departments.
This multi-jurisdictional task force targeted convenience stores, gas stations, cigarette shops and liquor stores, the report said. As of press time, it was not known if any charges were filed subsequent to the raid.
The raids were said to be tied to the illegal sale of cigarettes and K2, a marijuana-like synthetic drug.