Four men are in custody in connection with the large-scale distribution of synthetic drugs, according to federal prosecutors in New York.
Niaz Khan, 34, Noel Sanabria, 57, Andre Gomes, 38, and Patrick Patterson, 32, were arrested and charged on May 20 with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and to distribute controlled substances using the internet.
“Trafficking of synthetic cannabinoids — sometimes called K2 or Spice — poses a serious threat to public health and safety,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “Packaged attractively to appeal to teenagers and young adults, synthetic cannabinoids are in reality toxic concoctions that can be very dangerous to consume.”
Synthetic cannabinoids contain psychoactive chemicals that can cause severe hallucinations and serious medical issues, including overdose deaths.
The defendants allegedly operated at least four websites they are accused of using to “distribute massive quantities of synthetic cannabinoids throughout the United States” from their home base in the Bronx, Strauss said.
The men allegedly peddled merchandise that included dried and shredded plant material sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid chemicals, prosecutors claimed.
The illegal contraband was then marketed under names, such as “Train Wrecked,” “Scooby Snax Kush,” “Bizarro,” “AK 47,” “Hi5 Triple X,” “Evil Santa,” “Krazy Turkey,” “Sexy Monkey,” “W.T.F.,” and “COVID-19 Coronavirus Limited Edition,” officials said.
The defendants allegedly earned more than $1 million from the scheme..
However, Strauss noted, the “dangerous business has been dismantled.”
If convicted of the charges against them, each of the defendants face up to 20 years in prison