An Aventura man considered a major U.S. dealer of synthetic marijuana was found guilty by a Miami federal jury late Wednesday of conspiring to distribute the drug commonly known as Spice and K2.
The conviction of Ronen Nahmani, 41, marked the first successful trial prosecution of a synthetic cannabinoid case in South Florida, according to authorities. He faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing on Oct. 8 before U.S. District Judge Michael Moore, who revoked his bond and ordered his detention.
Trial evidence showed Nahmani bought multi-kilo shipments of illegal powdery chemicals from China and converted them into both leafy and liquid synthetic cannabis for distribution in Florida and other parts of the country, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents say synthetic cannabinoids are potentially deadly because users don’t know the actual content, dosage and potency of the synthetic drug.
In July 2014, investigators stopped Nahmani and linked him to a large supply of powdery cannabis chemicals that he stored in a warehouse, prosecutors said. The warehouse also contained equipment for making the synthetic products and packaging with labels such as “Scooby Snax,” “Diablo” “Platinum” and “Fire.”
Spice and K2 are commonly sold in these types of packages, which often contain deceptive labeling that the product is “incense” and “not for human consumption” to throw off law enforcement, according to the DEA.