Pacific Beach Man Accused of Selling $1M-Worth of Synthetic Drug, Spice - NBC 7 San Diego

Pacific Beach Man Accused of Selling $1M-Worth of Synthetic Drug, Spice

Spice or K2 is a chemical mixture sprayed on to a plant substance that users can then smoke or ingest to achieve a similar effect to marijuana

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pacific Beach Man Arrested in New York Spice Ring

    The man operated an illegal synthetic marijuana ring from his home in San Diego. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda has the story. (Published Thursday, July 5, 2018)

    A Pacific Beach man is accused of selling a million dollars-worth of the synthetic drug known as spice to people in every U.S. state.

    Jonathan Riendeau, 38, lived in a small bungalow on Ocean Boulevard in Pacific Beach, the location federal agents say he operated three websites that sold the lethal form of synthetic cannabinoids, known as K2 or spice.  

    Spice or K2 is a chemical mixture sprayed on to a plant substance that users can then smoke or ingest to achieve a similar effect to marijuana.

    Riendeau and a Florida man are accused of selling massive quantities of the drug, branded with colorful graphics and names like "Dead Man Walking," "Brain Freeze," and "Purple Haze," during February 2014 to June 2018.

    Some of Riendeau's neighbors told NBC 7 dozens of packages delivered to his doorstep nearly every day.

    The complaint obtained by NBC 7 does not say exactly how Riendeau was caught. 

    Federal agents also raided a storage facility in Pacific Beach where Riendeau is accused of stashing $100,000 in cash, investigators said. 

    San Diego city leaders approved an emergency law that banned the drug in 2016 after an uptick in overdose cases.

    The ordinance, -- considered the toughest of its kind in the state of California -- banned the sale, manufacture, possession and distribution of spice and related drugs.

    Synthetic marijuana is popular among teens and young adults and has been linked to altered mental status, increased heart rate and acute kidney injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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