NEW BERN, N.C.- Local police raided adult retail outlet Pure Bliss today, confiscating inventory and arresting the store manager for violation of a state law that forbids the sale of adult novelties and videos under the same roof.
"Everybody in the industry had better wake up," said Pure Bliss owner Greg Sakas. "This is not going to go away, and if I go down, they'll be looking to go after everybody else in the state."
Today's bust marks the second time authorities have raided Pure Bliss on the same charges; police confiscated the store's inventory during the first raid on January 29.
According to Sakas, the raids are part of an ongoing campaign to run him out of business - backed by the Christian Coalition in an effort to stamp out adult retail operations statewide. For the past few months, the store has been picketed by religious anti-porn protesters, and Sakas has reported harassment on several occasions.
"This is about more than just Greg Sakas here - somebody needs to wake up and realize that," the store owner said. "We had an agreement with the police that we could operate like normal; they were going to leave us alone and hopefully work things out. That tells you how much the word of the police department is worth. We're due in court in two weeks, and now they realize their case isn't looking so good - so they hit us again. I'm told there's going to be a warrant out for my arrest. It's a mess."
Sakas told AVN that this time, the police confiscated video head cleaner in addition to adult-oriented merchandise. ""This store is less than fifty percent adult," he explained. "We were back to normal - we had packed the store back up, thinking that we don't have a problem. Now I'm told they're going to charge me with selling drug paraphernalia - because of the head cleaner. In the state of North Carolina, video head cleaner is legal. But they want to shut me down, and they're looking for any reason. The picketing didn't work, nothing else worked...so now, they're going to put the screws on."
Sakas urges the adult industry to take notice of his store's plight, because, he said, the same thing could happen to other stores in North Carolina and across the country.