Massive Report

Once on the third floor of the building the three undercover officers paid a $20 cover charge and a woman marked their hands with an X in blue marker for re-entry purposes.

The night ended with the arrests of Nowak, 24 of Bellingham, and Shahi, 35, of Springfield. On Tuesday the pair denied charges of marijuana distribution and marijuana possession with intent to distribute. Neither are licensed to sell marijuana by the state Cannabis Control Commission, police said.

They are free on their own recognizance.

According to the police report, Delamarter and Captain Brian Keenan received information from various sources that the marijuana party was scheduled for Jan. 25. At about 6 p.m. a patron of Smokey Joe’s Lounge, one of several businesses operating at the building, told Delamarter he heard two people tell the doorman they were there for the weed party.

The three detectives were given buy money — which is police money that can be identified — and sent in to purchase marijuana.

“The undercover officers then entered two rooms, both rooms filled with an estimated 30-40 vendors set up at folding tables with an estimated 150 customers walking about,” Delamarter wrote.

The undercover officers saw a number of people smoking marijuana as they walked around, the report said.

All three officer purchased marijuana, either from Nowak at one table and Shahi at another. They left the building and members of the police department’s Strategic Impact Unit went inside, where the undercover officers pointed out Nowak and Shahi, who were arrested.

Alissa Nowak, Hemant Shani deny charges from marijuana ‘vendor party’ at Mardi Gras strip club building in Springfield

Alissa Nowak, Hemant Shani deny charges from marijuana ‘vendor party’ at Mardi Gras strip club building in Springfield

Officers seized 200 pounds of marijuana, police said.

“It should be noted that as officers secured these two individuals, many of the remaining vendors abandoned their booths leaving large amounts of marijuana products behind. Most of the customers/patrons also took the opportunity to quickly exit the rooms. Officers then seized the marijuana,” the report said.

Samples of seized marijuana from Nowak and Shahi were analyzed, and “the remainder of the abandoned marijuana was tagged for destruction,” Delamarter wrote.