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Cheektowaga store owner accused of gifting cannabis with sticker purchase arraigned in Erie County Court

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Posted at 12:19 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 12:19:48-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW)  — A Cheektowaga store owner accused of gifting cannabis with a sticker purchase was arraigned in Erie County Court on Monday.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced that 29-year-old David A. Zale, Jr. of Lancaster was arraigned on Monday in Erie County Court on an indictment charging him with one count of first-degree criminal possession of cannabis.

The district attorney's office said police executed a search warrant at Zale's business on French Road on February 4 and allegedly recovered approximately 15 pounds of cannabis, more than two pounds of concentrated cannabis and products that allegedly had fraudulent medical cannabis labels.

Police told 7 News in February that the search warrant was executed after an undercover detective managed to acquire cannabis products by buying a sticker and being gifted those products in return.

"Society doesn't accept this. This isn't a safe way to sell a drug, and it shouldn't be going on, so we're going to try and stop it," said Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould in a February interview with 7 News.

Zale is scheduled to return on August 11 for a pre-trial conference and remains released on his own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail. If convicted of the highest charge he faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.