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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Two men charged with multiple synthetic marijuana distribution charges


MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Nicholas Graziano, 53, of Melville, New York, and Stephen Graziano, 25, of Morgantown, West Virginia, with distributing synthetic marijuana, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

In July 2012 through April 2014, Nicholas and Stephen Graziano, owner and operators of X Hale Hookah Lounge in Morgantown, West Virginia, were allegedly distributing synthetic cannabinoids, commonly referred to as spice, K2, incense, or fake weed. Synthetic cannabinoids are designer drugs that resemble a controlled substance in molecular structure and actual or intended physiological effect.
 
The Grazianos were each charged with one count of “Drug Conspiracy,” one count of “Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises – Aiding and Abetting,” eleven counts of “Aiding and Abetting Distribution of Controlled Substance Analogue,” and one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance Analogue – Aiding and Abetting.” Nicholas Graziano was additionally charged with one count of “Engaging in Monetary Transaction in Property Derived from Specific Unlawful Activity,” and Stephen Graziano was additionally charged with one count of “Laundering of Monetary Instruments.”

They each face up to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $1,000,000 for the conspiracy charge; up to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 for the maintaining drug-involved premises charge; up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for each of the distribution charges; Stephen faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the engaging in monetary transaction charge; and Nicholas faces up to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 for the laundering charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is handling the case on behalf of the government. The Mon Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is investigating.
 
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated September 21, 2016