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DEA Arrests Lead to Federal Indictment for Distribution Of Synthetic Marijuana

Posted by Seth Chazin | May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

It was reported that packets of a leafy mixture laced with chemicals sent hundreds of people to the hospital in Colorado. Within one month, 200 people had been poisoned by synthetic marijuana, killing one. This then led to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)arresting nine men after they were indicted by a federal grand jury in Colorado and several other states and charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (18 USC 371) and distribution of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (18 USC 841 as a part of a national crackdown on synthetic drug production. .

John Bowen of Las Vegas and Daniel Bernier of Cocoa Beach, Florida, allegedly ran companies in Florida and Colorado that used chemicals imported from China to produce products that were sold across the United States. One of the products was a synthetic version of pot that was sold at many tobacco shops in Colorado.

Those arrested as a result of the indictment are wholesalers and retailers in Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The DEA said that poisonings were linked to synthetic marijuana in Georgia as well last summer, but Colorado had the most significant outbreak. This synthetic marijuana has also reportedly been linked to the death of a 15-year-old boy and possibly two other deaths of adults.

Real Marijuana is legal in Colorado, while synthetic pot blends are not. A significant reason why these synthetic products are appealing is because they do not show up in workplace drug tests.

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About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


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“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson