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Press Release

Father and Son Spice Traffickers Sentenced to Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A father and son were sentenced today to a combined 27 years in prison for their roles in a synthetic cannabinoid trafficking operation. The duo was also ordered to forfeit over $1.9 million from their Spice sales.


Nader Abdallah, 56, of Rochester, New York, who was sentenced to 198 months in prison, was convicted on Oct. 20, 2016, by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues, possession with intent to distribute schedule I controlled substances, distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, and two counts of false statements. Nader’s son, Sharif Abdallah, 33, also of Rochester, who was sentenced to 132 months in prison, pleaded guilty on Sept. 29, 2016, to conspiracy to use a communication facility and unlawful monetary transactions.

According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial of Nader Abdallah, the father/son team operated a gas station and convenience store located on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News called the Red Barn. Nader and Sharif would take turns coming down from New York to operate the store. In 2011, the Red Barn began selling smokable synthetic cannabinoid products, commonly known as “Spice.” According to court documents, Sharif told investigating agents that he would spend $15,000 to $20,000 on spice inventory in a slow month and $30,000 to $50,000 on spice inventory in a good month.

According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial of Nader Abdallah, on Sept. 18, 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the Red Barn, where they found over 18 kilograms of spice, over $100,000 in cash and a safety deposit box key. Agents conducted a subsequent search warrant of the safety deposit box where they uncovered approximately $700,000 in cash. Eight days after that search warrant, Sharif contacted the Red Barn’s spice supplier and indicated that he and his father wanted to transition from the spice retail they had been doing at the Red Barn to spice wholesale. The Red Barn on Warwick Boulevard was subsequently sold and is no longer under the Abdallahs’ ownership. In December 2014, Nader and Sharif Abdallah acquired a new property in Newport News, which they began using to wholesale spice. During a search warrant executed at that new location on April 20, 2015, law enforcement found over a kilogram of spice and over $10,000 in cash.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk; and Robert B. Wemyss, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric M. Hurt and Kevin Hudson prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:15-cr-18.

Updated March 31, 2017

Drug Trafficking