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Press Release

Iowa City Head Shop Owner Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Synthetic Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Hadi Sharairi, age 45, from Iowa City, has been charged with conspiring to distribute synthetic drugs.  The charges are contained in an Indictment unsealed on June 16, 2016, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that, between at least February 10, 2014, and May 7, 2014, Sharairi conspired to distribute drugs called AB-FUBINACA and THJ-2201.  The Indictment alleges that AB-FUBINACA is a Schedule I controlled substance and THJ-2201 was a controlled substance analogue in May 2014.  Testimony at a hearing on June 21, 2016, showed Sharairi was the former owner of Zombies, a head shop located in Iowa City.  An officer testified that Sharairi was warned by the Iowa City Police Department in June 2013 not to sell synthetic cannabinoid products (commonly known as “K2,” “Spice,” or “incense”).  In May 2014, however, law enforcement searched Zombies and a storage unit associated with the business and found packages labeled “Bizarro,” which contained THJ-2201, and other packages labeled “Super Nova,” which contained AB-FUBINACA.

If convicted, Sharairi faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.­

Sharairi appeared on June 16, 2016, in federal court in Cedar Rapids and on June 21, 2016, was released on bond.  Sharairi’s next appearance for a status hearing is set for July 20, 2016. 

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the Iowa City Police Department and as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA, the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Marion Police Department, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services; and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham.

Court file information at 

The case file number is 16-CR-48-1-LRR.

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Updated June 30, 2016

Drug Trafficking