Estimated $250K of synthetic marijuana found at Simply Foot Spa in Williston Park

Police and firefighters investigate Simply Foot Spa after receiving a call about an odor of gas. Officials said they found an estimated $250,000 worth of synthetic marijuana. (Photo by Adam Schrader)

Responding to a report of a possible gas leak at a foot spa on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park on Wednesday, county and village first responders discovered more than 20 pounds of loose synthetic marijuana and 5,300 bags of synthetic marijuana, according to the Nassau County Major Case Bureau.

Sunita Shah, 57, and Rajeesh Shah, 62, a husband and wife from Albertson who operated Simply Foot Spa at 120 Hillside Ave,. were both charged with criminal possession precursor of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment 2nd degree and the illegal use of nitrous oxide.

Rajesh Shah (Photo courtesy Nassau County Police)
Sunita Shah (Photo courtesy Nassau County Police)

They were arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday, Oct. 5, according to Nassau County police.

The recovered street value of the marijuana was estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.

“We smelled gas from about noon to 2 p.m. and it didn’t go away,” said Cheryl Waters of Charles Water Karate and Fitness. “They went into the store and had Hazmat officers look around.”

The Williston Park Fire Department responded to the initial complaint, joined by the Mineola Fire Department, the Nassau County Fire Marshal Hazardous Materials team and Nassau County Police.

Firefighters with the Hazardous Materials team and Nassau County Police Emergency Services Unit discovered more than 20 pounds of loose synthetic marijuana and 5,300 bags of synthetic marijuana, the Nassau County officials said.

Masked firefighters were seen entering Simply Foot Spa and placing a large fan in the basement before the area was roped off to onlookers.

“They told us to get out of the building and cancel classes for the day,” Waters said.

Nassau Police asked the Shahs to open the doors for investigation. Both Sunita and Rajeesh appeared.

Officers said they saw several cans of chemicals and drug paraphernalia when they opened the door.

Sunita and Rajesh Shah were arrested without incident, police said.

Traffic westbound on Hillside Avenue was down to one lane at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kerry Collins, the Williston Park Building Inspector, has also posted a Vacate Order on the building until code violations observed are corrected to the satisfaction of the Fire and Building Codes, according to Mike Uttaro, the public information officer for the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article indicated that the Mineola Fire Department responded to the call. The Williston Park Fire Department was the lead department and Mineola Fire Department provided mutual aid.


  1. To the author. Considering you have your masters degree you may want to take a little more time to get your facts straight before publishing an article. The WILLISTON PARK FIRE DEPARTMENT responded to the scene and were the ones who found the parafanalia. The Mineola Fire Department was only there as back up (simply put). The reason for the hydrant draining a red tint has absolutely nothing to do with the drugs that were found. It’s red from the piping system it flows through.


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