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Nine Years in Prison for Iqbal Singh Sidhu

Iqbal Singh Sidhu is sentenced to nine years in prison for distributing synthetic cannabinoids out of his convenience store business in Reno, and for storing large quantities of the substance for distribution in his home in Reno.

Iqbal Singh Sidhu 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.” 

“Synthetic drugs such as “spice” and “fake weed” are oftentimes more potent and dangerous than real marijuana and are being sold to an unwary public in convenience stores, head shops, gas stations and online,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden.  “These synthetics are powerful substances that are typically sprayed indiscriminately on a base product to create ‘spice,’ and when consumed have caused hallucinations and dangerous levels of overdose.  We are working diligently with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to prosecute persons who callously and recklessly distribute them.”

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 Feb. 5, 2013, agents executed federal search warrants at 1801 West 4th Street, in Reno, and at Singh-Sidhu’s residence at 3101 Platte River Drive, in Reno, 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.

The synthetic drugs Singh-Sidhu sold, and later possessed with intent to distribute at his business and his home in February 2013, contained one or more of the controlled substances, JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-081, and AM2201, and/or one or more of the analogues intended for human consumption, UR-144, XLR11, and 5-MeO-DALT.  Synthetic drugs containing these substances have hallucinogenic effects on the central nervous system.  The physiological effects these substances cause are stronger and more potent than those caused by marijuana.  

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.  Earlier Iqbal was arrested for Battery with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault, 2 Counts of Open and Gross Lewdness, and Selling alcohol to a minor.

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