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Saddam's secret stash?

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Eight pounds of Afghan hashish - some of it labeled "Spirit of Saddam" - has been seized in Jersey City following a monthlong investigation that also led to the arrest of a city man and two of his sons, officials said today. Police estimated the street value of the haul at $100,000.

Ramzy Bendary Metawie, 64, of Kennedy Boulevard near Kensington Avenue, Mohamed Ramzy Bendary, 32, of the same address, and Ahmed Ramzy Bendary, 40, of Gifford and Bergen avenues, were arrested Monday, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

Each is charged with numerous drug offenses, including possession with intent to distribute hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more, and possession with intent to distribute hashish within 1,000 feet of a school, DeFazio said.

All three were arrested after trying to sell more than one pound of hashish to an undercover officer, DeFazio said. Detectives then searched the Kennedy Boulevard apartment and found nearly seven additional pounds of hashish, DeFazio said.

The hashish was packaged in "nuggets, or "bricks" with the logo "Spirit of Saddam" printed in Arabic on some of them, DeFazio said, adding that the street value of the hashish seized is more than $100,000.

Hashish is a tetrahydrocannabinol-rich material of the cannabis plant, which is collected, dried and compressed, DeFazio said, adding that THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and hashish.

The Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan are the main sources of hashish. The increase in THC content of marijuana over the years has diminished the demand for hashish, officials said. This is the first significant hashish bust in North Jersey in a number of years, DeFazio said.

It was the federal Drug Enforcement Agency that said the hashish was likely from Afghanistan and the DEA is continuing the investigation, DeFazio said.

All three of the men arrested remain in the Hudson County jail in Kearny with their bails set at $200,000, officials said.

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