PHOENIX — A Phoenix man's house was raided and he was arrested in June after he was accused of illegally selling drugs out of his convenience store in Glendale, police announced Thursday.
But the family is arguing that police raided their home without cause and said during a press conference Thursday that they're set to sue the city for millions.
Bejar Sadiq Abdulaziz, 43, was arrested June 10 and booked into jail on numerous felony charges, including selling narcotic drugs, possessing dangerous drugs, conducting an illegal enterprise and money laundering.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis said in an email that Abdulaziz was arrested after a warrant was served on a home near 75th Avenue and Broadway Road.
Investigators seized a loaded AK-47 rifle, a loaded handgun, cash and vehicles from this search warrant.
A second search warrant was served at Azad Market near 51st Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Glendale, where investigators seized a "number of pounds of spice and numerous cannabis cartridges for electronic cigarettes."
Abdulaziz said he closed his business after the search on the market and claimed police have more than $40,000 of his money.
“They did too much to us. They destroy our life, of me and my kids. And they don’t find nothing in me. And they take all our property,” Abdulaziz said during the press conference.
Clara Colmenero with the Superior Court of Arizona said in an email to 12 News that charges have not been filed against Abdulaziz.
Lewis said the drug-related charges are being submitted to the Arizona Attorney General's office as part of a larger investigation.
Investigation stretches back to 2017
Lewis said investigators first received information in 2017 that the Azad Market was involved in illegally purchasing food stamp cards. As a result, an investigation was launched into the market and its owner, Abdulaziz.
The investigation found that food stamp cards were traded for spice, methamphetamine, cocaine and THC cartridges to use in electronic cigarettes.
According to court documents, undercover officers bought multiple marijuana cartridges inside the market between March and June of this year.
Recently released video of the June 10 raid showed the family, half-dressed, appearing to obey commands and exiting calmly with their hands up.
Moments later, a remotely operated camera followed by officers in tactical gear move in.
One of Abdulaziz's sons said during the press conference that the raid could have ended much worse.
“What if something happened? If someone sneezed, if someone wanna go grab their phone, we would have died that day. We would have got shot. My family would have died.”
Police said the tactics used in the raid were necessary because of “elevated potential violence.”
In 2014, Abdulaziz was sentenced to probation for firing rounds out of an AK-47 style rifle during a traffic altercation.
The status of this case remains unclear. Stay tuned to 12 News for the latest.