Major drug bust in Dalton sends three people to jail

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 7/24 6:51 pm
DALTON, Georgia(WDEF) - A major drug bust in Dalton lands three people in jail.
It happened last night but the investigation began last month.

Dhansukh Chhaganlal Bhika, 63, Allen Payne, 36 and Tiffany Fowler, 32, are all facing multiple felony drug charges.

This story began back in February when Bhika, who is a tobacco store owner, was arrested and charged with selling synthetic marijuana from his store. Authorities seized more than 1,300 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than $80,000 in cash.  Bhika has since been free on a bond.

In May, Dalton investigators received information that synthetic marijuana sales were still taking place from the store and began a second investigation.  On multiple occasions, cooperating informants bought synthetic marijuana from Bhika as well as Payne and  Fowler.

On July 2nd, the Georgia Department of Revenue performed a tobacco license compliance check on the store and while there, agents discovered packages of synthetic marijuana in the store. 

The agents reported what they found to Dalton Police.

Detectives from the DPD Drug Unit obtained a search warrant for the store and found more than 100 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than 30 containers of a liquid form of synthetic marijuana that can be consumed using vapor pens or "E-Cigarettes." 

On Wednesday Dalton officers served an arrest warrant on Payne at his Dalton home.

While inside his home, officers found a 9 millimeter handgun, drug paraphernalia, and a small quantity of marijuana.

Officers also served an arrest warrant on Fowler in Resaca.

She was arrested after meeting investigators at Dawnville Road and Highway 286 and was in possession of 1 package of synthetic marijuana when she was arrested.

Investigators arrested Bhika after meeting him at the outlet mall in Calhoun.  He was in possession of packages of synthetic marijuana at the time of his arrest.

investigators determined that Bhika had a storage unit in Bartow County where he had a large quantity of synthetic marijuana stored. 

After obtaining consent to search the storage unit, investigators from the Bartow County-Cartersville Task Force, Dalton Police Department, and Homeland Security seized more than 22 pounds of synthetic marijuana from the storage unit valued at approximately $100,000. 

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