Former Decatur Business Owner Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Spice, K2
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough today sentenced a former Decatur business owner, Noman Hizam, 37, to five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, known as Spice and K2. Hizam, of Harristown, was further ordered to remain on supervised release for three years following his prison term. Hizam has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest in July 2016.
Hizam pleaded guilty to the charges on March 2, 2018. According to the factual basis in support of Hizam’s pleas of guilty, Hizam admitted that he was the intended recipient of a shipment of synthetic cannabinoids from New York in September 2014. A Decatur police detective intercepted the shipment when he stopped the Chevrolet Suburban on I-72 in Macon county. Inside the vehicle, the detective discovered two large trash bags that contained approximately 17.4 kilograms of synthetic cannabinoids packaged in 1,741 packets.
On May 10, 2016, DEA agents executed federal search warrants at Decatur businesses owned by Hizam, including the Handy Pantry, 3715 North Woodford St.; Cigar Outlet, 1247 E. Mound; and, Tobacco Express, 1101 N. Route 48. At the same time, Hizam was stopped in a vehicle and consented to the search of the vehicle. Officers located a plastic grocery sack in the vehicle’s center armrest that contained stacks of U.S. Currency. In addition Hizam had a bundle of U.S. Currency in his pants pocket. Officers also recovered keys for a storage locker unit. Following consent to search the storage unit at 2727 N. Woodford in Decatur, agents recovered approximately 300 packets of synthetic cannabinoids. Examples of the street names under which the synthetics are marketed, agents recovered packets labeled as Smacked Blueberry, Geeked Up; Scooby Snax Hydro; Scooby Snax Watermelon; Mr. Big Shot; Green Giant; Mind Trip; Scooby Snax Hypnotic, and others.
According to publicly disseminated DEA drug fact information, K2 and Spice are two of the many trade names or brands for synthetic cannabinoids which are human-made, mind-altering chemicals developed to mimic the effects of THC, the main active ingredient of marijuana. They are often marketed under the guise of “herbal incense” or “potpourri.” The synthetic cannabinoids are typically marketed in rectangular, heat-sealed packets with brightly colored wording and street names to appeal to a youthful crowd, such as “Scooby Snax,” “Mr. Happy,” California Dream,” “Hayz,” “AK47,” “OMG,” “Down2Earth,” etc.
The case against Hizam is related to a continuing task force investigation of the distribution of synthetic cannabinoids in Central Illinois. This task force, part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, is led by the DEA with the Illinois Attorney General Investigations; Illinois State Police; FBI; Decatur Police Department; Springfield Police Department; Illinois Department of Revenue; and IRS-Criminal Investigation. OCDETF is a Department of Justice program that supports multi-jurisdictional task forces of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct long-term and complex investigations and prosecutions of drug-related crimes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.