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Man sentenced to nine years for synthetic marijuana

RENO, Nev. -- A northern Nevada man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for distributing synthetic cannabinoids out of his convenience store.

Iqbal Singh-Sidhu, 34, was convicted by a federal jury in February 2014 of 16 counts of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances and controlled substance analogues intended for human consumption, and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premise. It was the first federal jury trial of its kind in Nevada involving synthetic cannabinoids, commonly referred to as "spice."

According to the court records and evidence introduced at trial, on four separate occasions in September 2012, Singh-Sidhu knowingly and unlawfully distributed controlled substances, and analogues intended for human consumption, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act. The synthetic substances that he distributed over the course of these four occasions were labeled "Diablo," "Hayze," "White Rhino," and "Smokin Dragon."

On February 5, 2013, agents executed federal search warrants at 1801 West 4th Street, and at Singh-Sidhus residence at 3101 Platte River Drive, and recovered hundreds of packages of various types of "spice" in ready to distribute packaging. The overall street value of the "spice" found at his business and home was approximately $20,000.

Singh-Sidhu also unlawfully maintained the business of Grab n Go Food n Liquors for the purpose of distributing "spice" containing these controlled substances, and analogues intended for human consumption.