July 23, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (954) 660-4500
Jury Convicts Synthetic Cannabinoid Distributor
MIAMI - Ronen Nahmani, 41, of Aventura, Florida was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues, namely, synthetic cannabinoids, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. Nahmani is scheduled to be sentenced before Chief Judge Michael Moore on October 8, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
A.D. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), Miami Field Division; and Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida made the announcement.
Nahmani’s conviction is the product of a long-term federal investigation into the importation and trafficking of synthetic cannabinoids. The investigation revealed that Nahmani purchased vast quantities of illegal chemicals from China and distributed those chemicals in Florida and across the country. The powdery chemicals shipped from China were turned into both leafy and liquid synthetic cannabinoid products that can be ingested by users.
In July 2014, Nahmani was found in possession of multi-kilogram quantities of synthetic cannabinoids, including AB-FUBINACA, PB-22, XLR-11, THJ-2201, 5-Cl-UR-144 and 5-Br-UR-144, as well as the equipment necessary to manufacture the synthetic products and packaging with labels such as “Scooby Snax,” “Diablo” “Platinum” and “Fire.” Spice and K2 are commonly sold in such packaging and often contain deceptive labeling that the product is “incense” and “not for human consumption” to thwart law enforcement detection. Some of the chemicals were not specifically listed under the Controlled Substances Act at the time of the offense conduct, but the government proved that they were controlled substance analogues intended for human consumption under the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act. The defendant is pending sentencing.
Like all other illegal drugs, synthetic cannabinoids, also commonly known as “Spice” or “K2,” pose a nationwide health concern as they are not tested for safety. Clandestine manufacturing of these products increase the likelihood of overdose as users do not know what they are ingesting into their bodies. Synthetic cannabinoids are addictive, are extremely dangerous, and their effects can be life threatening. Since the beginning of 2015, synthetic cannabinoids accounted for thousands of reported exposures to poison at control centers nationwide. Because of their appeal to young adults and children, and their street costs, synthetic cannabinoids pose a growing risk to the public’s health and a hazard to public safety.
This investigation was conducted by the DEA, working in conjunction with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coconut Creek Police (PD), Coral Springs PD, Davie PD, Hollywood PD, North Miami Beach PD, and Miami-Dade PD; with the support from DEA Office of Diversion Control Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section and DEA Office of Chief Counsel. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.