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Press Release

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Shipping Synthetic Drugs to Southwest Virginia

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

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced today that Michael John Harrigan, 60, of Valrico, Fla. and Jared Andre Roa, 30, of Tampa, Fla., pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiring to distribute Schedule I controlled substances in the form of synthetic cannabinoids.

At sentencing, each defendant faces a potential sentence of up to twenty years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000.  Additionally, Harrigan agreed to forfeit $500,000 in criminal proceeds to the United States.                                                                                                         

According to court documents, Harrigan and Roa admitted to packaging and shipping large quantities of AB-FUBINACA, a Schedule I synthetic cannabinoid, throughout the United States via the United States Postal Service, and other shipping services. Quantities of these drugs were sent to the Western District of Virginia from Florida, including packages that were intercepted before delivery in Coeburn, Va. in October 2014.  Additionally, in September 2017, a search of a storage unit belonging to Roa in Tampa, Fla. yielded quantities of AB-FUBINACA, packaging materials, and address labels listing Harrigan’s name and address. Harrigan’s illegal profits from this drug activity were found to have been at least $500,000.

Roa is scheduled to be sentenced on February 25, 2019, in Abingdon.  Harrigan’s sentencing is scheduled for March 2, 2019.  According to Harrigan’s plea agreement, he must pay to the United States $50,000 within seven days his guilty plea and $450,000 on or before the date of his sentencing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, United States Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case for the United States.



Updated November 15, 2019