TWO CONVENIENCE STORE OWNERS INDICTED IN SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID “XLR11” DRUG CONSPIRACY
TULSA, OKLAHOMA— A federal grand jury indicted two convenience store owners for conspiring to distribute and distributing XLR11, a synthetic cannabinoid more commonly known as “K2” or “Spice”, a controlled substance analogue, announced United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
Iqbal Makkar, 36, of Bentonville, Arkansas, and Gaurav Sehgal, 36, of Grove, Oklahoma are charged with a drug analogue conspiracy, possession of Schedule 1 controlled substance analogue with intent to distribute, maintaining drug-involved premises, and money laundering.
According to court documents, beginning in November 2011 to January 2013, Makkar and Sehgal maintained a convenience store located in Oklahoma, for the purpose of storing and distributing the controlled substance 1-(5-fluoro-pentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl (2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl) methanone (5-fluoro-UR-144, XLR11), commonly known as XLR11. The charges include distributing 22 kilograms of XLR11 and depositing funds from the illegal sales and distributions of controlled substance analogues into a checking account at the Corner Stone Bank in Southwest City, Missouri.
Herbal incense is a mixture of herbs and spices that is typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Herbal incense, composed of synthetic cannabinoids, is marketed as “fake marijuana,” and often by its popular brand names “Spice” or “K2.” The side effects of herbal incense are similar to those of naturally grown marijuana.
If convicted, Makkar and Sehgal face the maximum statutory penalty for Counts 1 and 2 of not more than 20 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $1,000,000; Count 3 penalty is not less than 20 years imprisonment up to life, a fine of not more than $2,000,000; and Counts 4 and 5 penalty is not more than 20 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $500,000. The defendants would also forfeit property in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and a money judgment in an amount more than $1,344,000, and a Range Rover and Ford F-150 truck.
The charges resulted from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Assistant United States Attorneys Clinton J. Johnson, R. Trent Shores, and Catherine Depew are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A Grand Jury Indictment is one method of charging a defendant with alleged violations of Federal Law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendants’ presumption of innocence.