September 30, 2018
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Convenience store manager sentenced to prison for trafficking synthetic cannabinoids
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Mohammed Akram, 30, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of misbranding food, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to 60 months in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who handled the case, said that between November 2014 and April 2015, the defendant managed Best in the West, a convenience store located at 670 Jay Street in Rochester. On April 14, 2015, search warrants were executed at that location and at the apartment above the store, where Akram lived. Officers recovered $67,847 in United States currency and approximately 1,900 packets of suspected synthetic cannabinoids.
The defendant traveled to New York City to purchase and transport to Rochester bulk quantities of 3-5 ounce packages containing green vegetable matter. The packages were labeled “G-20,” “Bizarro,” “Mardi Gras,” “G10 Potporri,” “Mr. Happy,” “WTF,” “VooDoo,” “Remarkable Herbs,” “MR SIN,” “Scooby Snax,” and “Mad Hatter.” The green vegetable matter was laced with chemicals that were not authorized by law for human consumption. The defendant, who claimed the packages were potpourri, offered the various packages of green vegetable matter for retail sale in the convenience store knowing that customers intended to ingest the green vegetable matter.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the DEA Rochester Resident Office and the New York State Police
# # #