Two facing distribution charges after marijuana vendor party at Mardi Gras in Springfield


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two people are facing distribution charges after allegedly selling marijuana to detectives at a vendor party in a Springfield gentleman’s club.

According to Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh, 24-year-old Alissa Nowak of Bellingham and 35-year-old Hemant Shani were arrested Friday night after they sold marijuana to undercover detectives at the Mardi Gras.

Read More: Springfield PD: 200 pounds of marijuana seized from the Mardi Gras

Walsh said Nowak and Shani were two of 30 to 40 vendors that were allegedly selling marijuana on the third floor of the club.

“There are legal places you can go to purchase marijuana,” Walsh said. “You can have up to an ounce and you can gift up to an ounce, but as you can see in the picture this was way more than that and this was something people were trying to do that was illegal.”

There were also allegedly about 150 customers in the club when they sold the marijuana. Neither Nowak or Shani are licensed with the CCC to sell marijuana, Walsh said.

Police seized 200 pounds of marijuana along with $3,865 in cash after vendors and customers allegedly ran from the party.

Mayor Sarno said the city ordered an investigation into the Mardi Gras’ entertainment and liquor licenses, and they are working with both the D.A. and the Attorney General.

22News contacted Dan Kelly, attorney for Mardi Gras’ owner, but we still haven’t heard back.

Nowak and Shani are charged with distribution of a class D drug and possession with the intent to distribute a class D drug. Nowak is also facing an additional charge of distribution of a class D drug.

Both Nowak and Shani are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

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