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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 25, 2021

Jury Convicts Springfield Man of Conspiracy to Distribute Synthetic Cannabinoids and Related Charges

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A federal jury returned a guilty verdict on June 21, 2021, against Abdul G. Alsamah, 51, formerly of Springfield, Ill., for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Prior to his conviction, Alsamah was residing in Oakland, Calif. Sentencing for Alsamah has been scheduled for October 22, 2021, at the U.S. Courthouse in Springfield.

During four days of trial, beginning on June 16, the government presented evidence that between November 2014 and March 2016, Alsamah conspired with his co-defendant, Letha Dean, to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes referred to as K2 or spice – which are Schedule I controlled substances – to individuals in the Sangamon County, Ill. Alsamah and Dean distributed synthetic cannabinoids from the Crossing Two, a liquor store run by Alsamah, and a connected business, Mystic Enchantments, both in Springfield.

Alsamah was taken into custody after the verdict and remains in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. At sentencing, Alsamah faces a statutory penalty of up to twenty years in prison.

Eight other defendants have been convicted and sentenced in related cases: Mohammed Ali Saleh, Hamoud Hazam, Noman Hizam, Abdulrhamm Saleh, Abdu Saleh Mohamed, Walid Alanasawi, Jamal Nasir, and Ahmed Alkohshi.  Two other defendants, Mohanad Al-Matarneh and Letha Dean, have been convicted but have not yet been sentenced.

These cases are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) task force investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Springfield Division, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Division; the Springfield Police Department; the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department; the Illinois Department of Revenue; the Illinois Secretary of State; and the Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy A. Bass and Tanner K. Jacobs represented the federal government at trial.

OCDETF is a Department of Justice program that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state, and local enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and enterprises.

Updated June 25, 2021