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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 20, 2014

Two Tipton County Men Indicted For Manufacturing And Distributing "Spice"

Memphis, TN – Travis Fox, age 36, and Jason Forbess, age 36, both of Atoka, TN, have been charged in a two count indictment with manufacturing and distributing synthetic drugs and employing minors to distribute synthetic drugs, announced Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee and 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant.

The indictment alleges that beginning in April of 2009, Fox and Forbess manufactured and distributed synthetic drugs often known by the street names “Spice” or “K2.” These drugs mimic the hallucinogenic effects of marijuana with the added side effects of hallucinations, seizures, and dependency/addiction not usually associated with marijuana users. Fox and Forbess marketed and sold their products across the United States on their various internet websites. Beginning in 2013, the Fox and Forbess employed minors to help distribute the synthetic drugs.

“This indictment sends a clear message to those who would shamelessly peddle these dangerous substances that were never intended for human use: this behavior will not be tolerated and you will face stiff and serious consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton.

“Synthetic drugs and other designer drugs are devastating communities across the United States. Synthetic drugs have been especially harmful to high school kids because the products are marketed as ‘legal’ marijuana, when, in fact, these substances are extremely dangerous and illegal,” said District Attorney General Dunavant. “We will continue working to protect these young adults, and to shut down and hold accountable individuals who manufacture and distribute synthetic drugs without regard for the law or public safety.”

Fox and Forbess have been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute and one count of conspiring to employ a person under the age of 18 years of age to possess and distribute. If convicted they face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA and Tipton County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted for the government by Special Assistant United States Attorney Samuel R. Stringfellow.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 19, 2015