NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A man plead guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substances.
According to the Department of Justice Jayson Mickle, 31, sold smokable synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “spice” in the Hampton Roads area and nationwide.
Spice consists of plant material sprayed with ever changing active chemical ingredients often produced in clandestine labs in China.
The chemicals mimic the effects of THC, a primary ingredient in marijuana.
The packets Mickle sold said “not for human consumption” on them, but according to the Department of Justice, he knew the spice was to be smoked for its intoxicating properties.
Mickle began sales through retail stores known as Hampton Pipe and Tobacco and in 2010 he also began a wholesale operation online.
Between January 2012 and April 2013 Mickle’s spice distribution operation purchased over 1,000 kilograms of spice for resale.
From 2010 to 2012 alone, Mickle’s retail operation grossed over $9 million in spice sales.
Mickle faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced October 13.