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Published On: Mon, Nov 14th, 2016

California drug kingpin, Sean Libbert, guilty in $12 million smuggling ring of spice, synthetic pot

A California man has pleaded guilty in federal court in connection to his leadership of a widespread smuggling, manufacturing and distribution of mover $12 million oin drugs, particularly spice and synthetic drugs.

Sean Libbert, 41, of Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to various charages, related to the distribution ring of “spice” or “bath salts.”

Some of the drugs in this case nearly killed a victim who ingested them, according to the 16-count indictment filed in June 2014 that was the first in the Central District of California involving drug analogues.

As part of his plea agreement, Libbert has agreed to serve at least six years in federal prison, and the government has agreed to recommend a sentence of not greater than 20 years.

photo Wset10

photo Wset10

Libbert is scheduled to be sentenced March 20, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney.

“The investigation in this case revealed that this defendant controlled an organization that was one of the largest importers and distributors of dangerous, synthetic drugs in the nation,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Over the course of only 16 months, this organization smuggled well over 600 pounds of chemicals into the U.S., knowing that the drugs would be used to manufacture synthetic marijuana or ‘spice’ that was smoked or taken orally. As the indictment in this case references, these synthetic drugs pose serious health risks to users.”

“The packaging and names associated with analogue drugs might lead some impressionable users to believe these substances are benign, but the reality is they can cause serious health complications and even death,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “Couple that with the fact synthetic drugs are often marketed to young people and you have a prescription for disaster. For that reason, HSI is continuing to work closely with its federal and local law enforcement counterparts to target this emerging side of the illicit drug trade.”

Libbert incorporated a series of companies, opened up a series of bank accounts and private mailboxes, and used various websites to sell more than $12 million worth of chemicals and analogue substances to people across the United States, including other distributors and individual users.

Libbert and his co-conspirators also manufactured their own synthetic marijuana, which they marketed and sold under the brand “Da Kine Blend.”

When he pleaded guilty, Libbert admitted that over a 7½-month period in 2011 he distributed at least four kilograms of synthetic cannabinoids, which he knew would be used to manufacture at least 100 kilograms of synthetic marijuana for human consumption.

“Ingesting any synthetic cannabinoid or cathinone is like playing a game of Russian roulette – it can kill you in an instant,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Steve Comer. “Dismantling the highest level drug manufacturing and distribution organizations in the interest of public health and safety is what DEA is all about, and we’ll continue to target these organizations no matter what facade they operate behind.”

 

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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