MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors have announced the indictment of five people accused of being members of a multi-million-dollar synthetic drug ring operating in Minnesota.
U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said Thursday the indictment charges the five with conspiring to distribute synthetic cannabinoids.
According to court documents, starting in January 2010, 33-year-old Omar Ziad Wazwaz of New Brighton owned and operated several smoke shops throughout Minnesota, including “Smokes 4 Less” in Mankato. The government alleges Wazwaz sold smokable synthetic cannabinoids in his smoke shops. Starting in 2011, he’s accused of manufacturing his own brand of synthetic drugs, making millions of dollars.
The other four — Taleb Awad, Vladimir Brik, Steven Lyke and Daniel Lyke — are accused of conspiring with Wazwaz to manufacture and sell the drugs.
It’s unclear if the defendants have attorneys.
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