According to Florida State Statute 847.202, if a movie for sale or rent has no official rating, "such video movie shall be clearly and prominently marked as 'N.R.' or 'Not Rated.'"
Capt. Gary Brannen of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said that the movies, which represented approximately 99 percent of the store’s inventory, had no rating displayed at all. According to Brannen, the absence of labeling raises concerns that consumers could purchase the DVDs without knowing what kind of content to expect.
While Brannen plans to ask the State Attorney’s Office to file charges, he also plans to destroy the seized material.
“We plan to petition the court to be allowed to destroy the movies as contraband,” Brannen told The Star-Banner.
Brannen added that he saw the store’s operation as a violation of community standards and insisted that XMart needed to be closed down. At present the store remains open.
This latest raid was part of an ongoing investigation by the Sheriff’s special investigation squad, which raided vendors at a local flee market a week earlier. That raid netted 1,000 DVDs.
Larger retail stores, like Blockbuster, which are subject to law in question, but do not carry adult material, were not found to be in violation, according to Brannen.
A month earlier, Evgueni Soulaguine, an owner of 75 Retail Enterprises, the Florida company that operates XMart, was convicted of selling obscene material. He was sentenced to a year in jail.