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Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Major Law Enforcement Action Taken Against Synthetic Cannabinoid Manufacturers And Distributors, Including Criminal Charges Against Ten Members Of An International Trafficking Organization

September 16, 2015

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York Police Department (“NYPD”); James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); Glenn Sorge, Acting Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) New York; Robert E. Perez, Director of the New York Field Office of Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); and Joseph Fucito, Sheriff of the City of New York, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment against ten defendants involved in a massive drug distribution ring involving smokable synthetic cannabinoids (“SSC”). The scheme, which operated in all five boroughs of New York City, allegedly involved the unlawful importation of at least 100 kilograms of illegal synthetic compounds, an amount sufficient to produce approximately 1,300 kilograms of dried SSC product, or approximately 260,000 SSC retail packets. Coordinated with the unsealing of these criminal charges were searches of five processing facilities and warehouses used to process, store, and distribute SSC, as well as inspections of over 80 stores and bodegas around New York City.

Updated November 2, 2017