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Posted on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Police find suspected 'K2' in raid on Bongz & Thongz in downtown Ann Arbor

By John Counts


Officers from LAWNET raided Bongz & Thongz in downtown Ann Arbor Friday afternoon and found suspected synthetic drugs. The substances still need to be tested at a lab.

Melanie Maxwell |

Police raided an Ann Arbor head shop Friday afternoon and found substances believed to be K2 and other synthetic drugs, which the state made illegal in July.

Around 1 p.m., officers from the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team (LAWNET) executed a search warrant at Bongz & Thongz, at 119 E. Liberty St.

“There’s an investigation going on in reference to K2,” said LAWNET head Lt. Jerry Cooley. “We found something. We’re going to wait for the lab to verify what it is before we comment.”

The store was shut down for about an hour while officers went through the inventory looking for synthetic drugs. They had reports of the shop selling K2 and had been looking into it since July 1 when the public health code was amended making synthetic cannabinoids a controlled substance, Cooley said.

Bongz & Thongz is just one store among several LAWNET was keeping tabs on since K2 became a controlled substance.

“We heard they took it out of the display cases, but were still selling it,” Cooley said.

The store reopened after police left Friday. No tickets have been issued.

“Anything that happens from here will depend on what the lab determines what we found to be,” Cooley said.

Cooley added that packets of suspected substances were found. Any charges would depend on the prosecutor’s office. left a message with one of the store's owners, Kilo Hassan, which was not returned as of 2:20 p.m. Friday.

Back in June, spoke with employees of Bongz & Thongz who said they were going to stop selling the substance.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

So did they determine if what they found was in fact K2? I cant find any followup. Obviously the store is still in business... Does that mean the the raid was unsuccessful???

Milton Shift

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

LAWNET, go home.

Ypsi Russell

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

I hope now they'll look into the "Crack Shack" on State Street.


Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

"What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it?" Jeff Spicoli - Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 3:59 a.m.

Typical law-enforcement-hating Ann Arborite reaction: "Don't the police have anything better than to arrest people for [insert the law I habitually break here]?"


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

Certainly, most of these comments sound like they came from uneducated folks. People forget that they were kids once too, and as kids they will get a hold of what ever they can if they are so inclined. Cannabis is getting harder to find because of the medical cannabis, and that in itself takes a huge bite out of the accessibility of pot on the streets. So they will find something else if they want, because there are many many homeless people who will glad-fully buy alcohol for kids that can afford to pay the homeless for the favor. The usual charge is 5 or 10 bucks, so figure it out.

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 4 a.m.

Of course, another option would be to not use illegal substances at all, instead of looking for the next trendy or readily-available one.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

this is disgusting in light of the highly publicized family tragedy that took place over K2. I will never step afoot in this classless disrespectful store ever again.

Madeleine Borthwick

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

Did the story say it was tested and found to be "K2", or just being sent out for testing?

Ron Granger

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

K2 is so yesterday. All the cool cats have moved on to K^2.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

What other products labeled "not for human consumption" should we send the cops out to root out of our society? No more gas stations, no more paint thinners.

Laurie Burg

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

thank you clownfish! if your teenager is stupid enough to "consume" products labelled "not for human consumption" the problem lies with YOU and your kids, not society, not Bongz 'n Thongz. and yes, i was a teenager once, i clearly remember it, and the mistakes i made were not intentionally stupid behavior such as this. not enough real parents in the world.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

First of all I'm not surprised. Last time I was in AA a few months ago, it was obvious this business was struggling. I'm sure that K2 was its big seller... and that's now considered a controlled substance. With this raid, I'd say Bongz & Thongz is history. Also, to the several commenters stating that organic Marijuana is safe ... I beg to differ. Frequent users typically have respiratory problems. Use of marijuana can trigger mental illness in people who have a family history of mental disease. But don't rely on my words. Check with the UM Depression Center. They'll let you know about the side effects of Marijuana use. That is -- if you really want to know.

Laurie Burg

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

"Frequent users typically have respiratory problems." Absolute poppycock. Prove it. No tobacco smokers, pot smokers only. Prove it.

rusty shackelford

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Ironically, many in favor of marijuana legalization, including myself, believe these artificial products should indeed be illegal. They are fraudulent--passing themselves off as similar to cannabis--and are legitimately dangerous, unlike marijuana itself.

rusty shackelford

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Any info on what the basis was for obtaining the warrant?


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

when this place opened many comments were left that it would last only a year (I was one of them) hopefully it will be gone. stupid name and product for the location.

Detached Observer

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

@akronymn I'm no prude. I've been known to frequent head shops from time to time, but I steer clear of Bongz and Thongz. The name is disgusting. I can only assume whoever dreamed up the name is equally disgusting, and I simply don't want to be around such people. I can think of a dozen coy, cute names that would have been better.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Stores like these are a welcome part of the vibrant retail population downtown. Take your prudish intolerance elsewhere.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

Sonydog, I think this is exactly what the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team (LAWNET) is paid to do. They don't make the laws, they just inforce them. This sounded like a very efficient and effective job. Thank you Lt. Cooley, stay safe.


Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Blame? Yes, I blame and commend LAWNET for potentially stopping a business from selling illegal drugs.

Madeleine Borthwick

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

I'm reminded of some lyrics from a Phil Ochs' song....."is there anybody here who thinks that taking orders takes away the blame?" "they're just following orders like a good cop" doesn't cut it with me.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

One again, "the man" doing the job brings out the worst. I'd love to line up a number of parents that have lost their love ones in one way or another to "bath salts" and let you look them in the eye and say these things. "The man" is out to protect the community and stop those tragedic events. These sort of things that can easily result in death particularly for children have no place in retail, even in free America. This whole debate about drugs, beyond the true medicinal marijuana debate, is by selfish people who want to do things without thinking of this costs to your neighbors or other families. Sure you have the perfect right to conduct your own lives the way you want, but there are costs to society, your neighbors and other families. This is part of living in a civilized society. Alcohol and tobacco have huge costs and in a modern day, there would be huge debates about legalization if it hadn't already been legalized. Marijuana will also have costs to society in the end if legalized. Be careful what you wish for. Medicinal marijuana has its place, but it should be federally regulated and sold in a pharmacy like any other perscription. As for you marijuana naysayers. Just because alcohol and tobacco are legal, three wrongs don't make a right. Remember that next time your health insurance costs go up. There is a reason they are taxing tobacco of out existence in the US. Smoked marijuana will have the same concerns. Be careful what you wish for. It may not be the same when you get it, and the cost in the end may be higher. My 2 cents as always. Take it or leave it.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

Is anyone surprised?


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

The next time that the powers that be tell you that we need to raise taxes to fund more cops, remember this article. Remember that they have enough money for enough cops to do this. If they can allocate their scarce resources to this endeavor, their resources cannot be all that scarce. It's not a revenue issue, it's a resource allocation issue.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 10:46 a.m.

So nice of the piggies to nearly apprehend the proprietor of Get Curious with Safety Girl, take her fingerprints and search through her stuff when she has nothing to do with the upstairs shop and their alleged dealings.

Madeleine Borthwick

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

ypsijake, too right!! I have met Safety Girl and she is a very nice lady! LEAVE SAFETY GIRL ALONE!!!!


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 6:36 a.m.

Shady is as shady does...

G. Orwell

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 4:22 a.m.

Nanny state headed toward police state.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

Seems like the town has been after this store from the beginning due to their name. I've been in it. Didn't seem too seedy for a college town. Too bad the mayor's got his panties in bunch over it. Guess he managed to precipitate a raid that produced items that were not on display. Now the city is claiming that they were selling out of the back. Simple solution for this kind of silliness. Don't vote for the mayor.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

Where are underage kids going to get their tobacco now?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

How about from the other stores that have people associated with the owners? This is not the only shop in town. I have questions about a few other places in town.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

We told ya' this place would be trouble when it was opening, but lots of you said, "Oh, Ann Arbor is a different kind of city and we NEED places like this". Well there you are!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

I saw that raid going on and wondered what was up at Bongz andThongz. There was a white panel van parked illegally that the officers were also curious about.

simply amazed

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:06 a.m.

Very possible it was the unmarked white panel van that delivers flowers for Chelsea Flowers a few doors down. He often has to take whatever space he can in order to get the flowers loaded into his vehicle to deliver. He does this several times in a day just trying to do his job. May not be the van you saw, but his is totally unrelated to Bongz & Thongz.

Urban Sombrero

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

I, for one, am shocked. SHOCKED, I say! A classy store named, "Bongz and Thongz" having something not just illegal but.....untoward? Holy cow! My pearls! I am clutching them with all my might!

Madeleine Borthwick

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

pearls! I love pearls! GIMMIEEEEEEE!


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Are you sure they are your pearls?


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

As bad as that it is could have been far worse. Yes, they could have been selling sex toys in the downtown area.

Jack Campbell

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Good News. Shut the dump down.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

So Jack, you frequent this establishment?


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Hey I'm pro decriminalization etc....I'm glad to see them get busted. It's places like this that end up hurting the whole legalization/decriminalization process. People see them and think this is how the whole industry is.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

why is this nonsense the LEAD story when there is a woman MISSING?????

Joe Hood

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

Maybe the stories are related. The headlines of this paper speak in code every day, much like the cryptic emails we get from AAPS.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

I for one did not see this coming!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

Tee, hee---a bit of irony, what?!~


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

@Wolf's Bane.... me me me! I'll open a music store with table tennis in the back, and call it.....wait for it.... Songz & Pongz


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

It makes zero sense to me that alcohol purchase and consumption is legal while buying and using pot is not. When is the last time you heard of anyone smoking a doobie and getting in a car and killing someone? You're more likely to find a pot smoker on the couch with a bag of Cheetos. Prohibition of alcohol did nothing to stop the consumption of booze and if anything only served to increase crime rates. What makes the government think prohibition of marijuana would yield a different result? Make pot legal and things like K2 will be less of a problem. It's just a result of people who want to get their buzz on trying to stay one step ahead of the law.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Shocking. Simply shocking. Who would have suspected such a place?


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Glad the cops are wasting more time and money on useless things like this. I love how everyone over reacted and pushed to outlaw this when the "face eating" guy was suspected of smoking K2 and then it turns out he was just on Marijuana.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Bear, what facts do you want? In no way does someone destroying their body with drugs impact my life what so ever. I know what does impact my life - money being wasted on enforcing laws preventing people from doing what they want to their own bodies. My tax money. If someone does something illegal while on drugs - that's a different story, just like it is with drinking. Drinking is legal - you drink and drive and there are consequences because it's illegal. I could care less if some stoners want to get high on synthetic drugs. A2 doesn't have nearly enough police presence as it is and now they're wasting time hunting down a guy selling a few packs of illegal drugs that have no impact on our lives. Great. Excuse me if I don't want my money being wasted like that. Ryan, you need to get your own facts straight - as the commenter above me pointed out. You're out of date with your news facts. The "Face eater" was on nothing more than Marijuana.

C.C. Ingersoll

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Um, Ryan... "MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rudy Eugene, the Causeway Cannibal who ate the face off a homeless man he attacked along the MacArthur Causeway, was apparently not high on bath salts or any other exotic street drug at the time of the attack, according to a report released Wednesday by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner." "Speculation about the cause of Eugene's rampage on Poppo's face centered on drugs, specifically bath salts, after police union officials claimed an increase in bizarre behavior among people on the street using such drugs." Do try to "get your facts straight"


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

Are you sure you weren't on marijuana when you read the "face eating guy" story, as you call it? The Miami cannibal (as he is now called) was high on "bath-salts", a highly dangerous synthetic drug (ie: man-made), not on marijuana, a mostly harmless natural herb that merely makes you lazy and fat instead of making you believe it is a good idea to munch on someone else's face. Get your facts straight.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 7:10 a.m.

stupid comment, based upon your own preisoposition. no facts, just BS/

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

Excellent, who's the next lucky contestant to rent the space?


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

I'm thinking it will be Dildo's and Hoe's. I can see it now, a one stop shop for all of your sexual pleasure and gardening needs!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Keep in mind that there is no resemblance between marijuana and K2, whether has chemistry in common with THC or not. Marijuana is an herb with no known dangerous effects, where K2 is produced in a lab and has not been exhaustively studied.

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

"Made necessary by." Really? How is it necessary? Can people not live without it? Is somebody requiring them to use it? How is either substance necessary?


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

I think it was a Benjamin Franklin who said "Marijuana (or similar intoxicants) is proof that God wants us to be happy".


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Justcary, K2 is a dangerous substitute for pot made necessary by the unreasonable enforcement of marijuana. Legilators are creating the problem with their dogmatic opposition to legalization of pot. They in fact are creating the dangerous situation. There's more money in enforcement than their is in legalization. Wouldn't want to take that blood money out of law enforcements hands. Too much overtimne and sting money at stake.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Sorry, an "it" is missing above. Insert one where you feel it will make sense. Thank you.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Boy do I feel safer already...........................................................NOT


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

If they were selling it, shut down the shop and put the owner in jail.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Well that is what is intended, so thanks for pointing out the obvious.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Don't let the constitution get in the way of a dogmatic opinion.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Yes, because that's what I'd love to do. Not only pay for these cops to raid the store to get things that in no way impact my life off the streets but also pay to put this guy in jail for however many years. Pay for his food, shelter and clothing....yay!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

If we simply legalized marijuana, we wouldn't have to worry about this bathtub gin (a.k.a. "bath salts", a.k.a. "K2", etc.)

Madeleine Borthwick

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

thank you, GoNavy! when will people realize that PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK? never has, probably never will. people will do what they want to do regardless of whether it's legal or not.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Nailed it!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

Oh wow, good job! You sure are keeping the streets clean! What a gigantic waste of time, K2 is less harmful than cigarettes along with real marijuana. This is a joke, they've done nothing but waste tax dollars and time. Typical Ann Arbor police.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

None of those stories are true. It might be true that it happened but its not true that K2 caused them. In all of those stories the drugs in the stories changed about 3 times. They hated the fact that any kind of Marijuana became legal. You do the math.


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

..."says the stoner"


Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Ummmm..@sidwally.... have you heard abut the guy that killed and ate his dog on K2? I get that urge every time I smoke a marlboro, but for some reason I've held off.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Typical LAWNET, not typical AAPD.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Yes, because Marijuana is SO much more dangerous than K2 and cigs!!


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

*echoing Jojo B's comment* Have you read the articles written about K2 and the people who have no recollection of doing insane things after doing synthetic marijuana?

Jojo B

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I beg to differ with you on two points, sir. The state of Michigan made K2 and spice illegal, not the Ann Arbor police. Blame the waste of time on the state if you must. Research on K2 and other synths is still in the early stages, but there is growing evidence that it precipitate and worsen psychosis, especially in those prone to mental disorder. You could argue that this is no worse than alcohol if you wish, but I would argue that real marijuana is less harmful.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Oh, and "Kilo" is a great name for the owner of a Head Shop. The jury will love it!

simply amazed

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

So was the raid Thursday or Friday? Seems to be a contradiction in the story. Either that or I can't read.

Julie Baker

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7 p.m.

Friday. We fixed the Thursday reference.


Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

I'd be surprised if they didn't find it there. Probably alphabetized next to the KY.

Michigan Reader

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

What I think is...they were going to sell what they already had in stock before the legislative ban; THEN they would have stopped selling it. It's a business after all, and the expense they wanted to recoup.