ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A South Albany convenience store remains closed and the manager is in jail following an Albany Police gang unit raid Thursday night.
The Haley Food Mart was raided by the Albany Gang Unit and was found to be selling a generic form of the main ingredient in Viagra without a prescription.
The raid was the culmination of a two month investigation. Investigators say it started with unknown pills found in a traffic stop.
Albany Police Gang Unit Lt. Antonio Fletcher said "Sent the pills off for analysis. Based on that analysis those pills contained a dangerous drug in the state of Georgia called sildenafil."
Sildenafil is the main medication in Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction. Gang unit officers say the pills were being sold in the store in a two pill bottle under the name "Red Dog." A prescription is required for the sale of Sildenafil in Georgia, and officers say misuse of it has been known to cause deaths.
Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Prurince Dice said "It increases the blood pressure and it causes the heart to speed up, and potentially fail. We don't want anything like that on the streets in Dougherty County."
The manager of the store, 38 year Yoge Barot, is charged with two counts of distribution of a dangerous drug and racketeering. But store customers say the store and Yoge are well known and liked in the community, and they don't think he broke any laws.
Customer Eva Mosley said "No, Yoge is a good man. I love Yoge. Everybody loves Yoge around here."
Customer Carletha Stephens said "Yoge was here for the community. He was here to help any and everybody. Everybody kept this store safe."
Gang Unit Investigators say there was a large amount of the Red Dog pills in this store, and they are still investigating if similar products are being sold in other stores. The Gang Unit says this store will remain closed while that investigation continues.
Gang Unit officers ask if you have suspicions that drugs like Red Dog are being sold at other locations in Albany, to notify the Albany Police.