Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced today that Achi Store owner Rafie Ali and store employee Mohammed K. Himed will be charged for the illegal sale of K2, a synthetic marijuana, related to the .
At a press conference on Monday, July 2, the district attorney and Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders announced the arrests, the first in Montgomery County since laws banning K2 went into effect last August. Ali and Himed are charged with corrupt organizations, delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, paraphernalia and related offenses.
Roger Malloy, who was driving the vehicle that killed Crawford and Witt, faces two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, and related offenses.
According to police reports, on May 21, police responded to a one-vehicle collision in the 500 block of State Street in Pottstown, where they found three people lying in the vicinity of the vehicle. Witt, 15, was declared dead at the scene. Crawford, 28, was transported to where he later died. Kendal Harper was transported to Reading Hospital to be treated for severe injuries.
Witnesses reported seeing two black males removing the injured people from the car before they fled the scene, which police determined to be Roger and Robert Malloy.
Robert Malloy told police that Roger Malloy had been driving the car at the time of the crash and that he had been under the influence of K2 that evening.
“Roger started flying,” Robert Malloy told police. “He was doing like 60 miles per hour and I was yelling at him to slow down.”
Police arrested Roger Malloy on May 22, at which time he admitted that he had been driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. He later admitted to smoking K2 five or 10 minutes prior to the collision, which caused an asthma attack, in addition to making his heart beat faster and his vision become blurred, according to police.
K2 is a generic name for a number of substances also known as synthetic marijuana, which replicate the “high” of marijuana, but don’t contain the active chemical THC. It has been known to produce serious side effects, including anxiety attacks that can lead to suicidal episodes.
Possessing the substance for personal use is an upgraded misdemeanor, while possessing with the intent to distribute is an upgraded felony, carrying a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence for a first-time offense, with possession of two to 10 grams of K2. Mandatory minimum sentences increase with the amount of substance in possession, and with subsequent offenses, up to seven years.
Malloy had smoked “Dead Man” brand K2 the night of the fatal accident, which he allegedly purchased at the Achi Store, at 315 High St. in Pottstown.
After an undercover police officer was able to purchase two containers of the illegal K2 from the store on May 22, police served a search warrant on the store and discovered over 30 vials of K2, more than 30 crack pipes, 13 bowls for smoking marijuana. They also found over $1,000 in cash and a handgun, and subsequently arrested Achi Store owner Ali and store employee Himed.
Roger Malloy, Ali and Himed were all arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Edward Kropp Sr., at 4 p.m., today. Their cases will be tried by First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Reifsnyder.