ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The owner of a Japanese restaurant in St. Petersburg has been accused of running a drug house out of the business, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Arrest reports stated that at around 1:22 a.m. Friday, deputies conducted a search at Oishi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi on 34th Street North while investigating a local drug trafficking operation.
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Deputies said undercover agents conducted drug purchases from the restaurant’s owner, 40-year-old Hai Thanh Bui of Pinellas Park.
During their search, deputies found a safe that contained about 750 grams of cocaine, 985.5 grams of MDMA, 65 grams of Ketamine, 10 grams of Adderall, and 20 grams of oxycodone.
A digital scale and small plastic bags were also found at the business, which the sheriff’s office said are commonly used for street-level drug purchases.
According to the documents, the key to the safe was found on Bui at the time of his arrest.
Drugs weren’t the only things deputies found during their search. An RV on the property contained several firearms including two rifles and six handguns, according to the arrest documents.
The RV was locked with a padlock at the time of the deputies’ search, but it was unlocked with keys found in the sushi restaurant.
Having been previously convicted in 2004 on an MDMA distribution charge, this led to Bui being charged with several counts of felon in possession of firearms.
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Two other people were at the restaurant at the time of the search, but they told deputies that they only had access to the restaurant, not the RV. Bui told authorities that the two individuals were restaurant employees who were there to remodel the kitchen.
In addition to the drug trafficking allegations, deputies said Bui allegedly dealt in stolen property, including a pressure washer and a water heater.