The Feds Seized Six Texas Properties and $700,000 in Yet Another Fake Pot Case

Categories: Weed

640px-Abilene_Cypress_Wide.jpg
Tungd31
There is nothing to do here except sell and consume fake pot apparently.

For a thankfully brief period in the mid-aughts, I lived in Abilene. Having experienced it in all of its splendor, I can say without hesitation that it is one of the most boring places on Earth. If you can avoid it, don't go there, ever, for any reason.

If you do have to spend some time there, you should know that, according to a forfeiture complaint filed in federal court Friday, one of the substances that you might have sought out to alleviate your inevitable ennui might be in short supply.

That's because the Drug Enforcement Administration has seized six properties and over $700,000 from Abilene head shop owner Ricardo Cervantes Estrada after accusing his Mr. Nice Guy's shops of selling "synthetic cannabanoids."

Synthetic cannabanoids are the chemical hodgepodges that attempt, and sometimes fail, to mimic the effects of THC. Makers regularly mix up the formula used to make the substances in an attempt to skirt federal regulations, which treat the drugs, just as they do heroin and actual marijuana, as a Schedule 1 substance.

Over the last year, Dallas has been at the center of multiple incidents involving the substances including an outbreak of overdoses and one of the biggest synthetic drug busts in U.S. history, the seizure of the Dallas-based Gas Pipe head shop chain.

This time, DFW was a big part of the supply-side of the operation. For over two years, the feds allege, Mr. Nice Guy's bought between $6,000 and $9,000 of fake pot from Herbal Incense Café, a web-based wholesaler in Sunnyvale.

Mr. Nice Guy's would sell the 2-gram packages under delightful names such as "Angry Birds Space" and "Respect My Authoritah." Now all of the alleged profits from the operation are being held in escrow at the Federal Reserve Bank as the government seeks their forfeiture.

All for some drugs that weren't even the real thing.

Estrada could not be reached for comment because he is currently in prison for an unrelated 2007 organized criminal activity charge.



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27 comments
laa2005
laa2005

It shouldn't be illegal. After all the coverage of what a "bad batch" can do to you, do you really need the government to tell you it's no good?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

It is amazing the things people will do for a release of dopamine or for the ingestion of a substance that stimulates dopamine receptors.

annff69
annff69

A friend of mine died a gruesome death from the fake stuff. Never known anyone who died from real weed. Legalize it already.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

Just legalize it already (the real stuff).  It is inevitable.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

If only Goldman Sucks were in the fake drug instead of fake investment business, then maybe one of em wouod get put away.

Way to go Fan Belt Inspectors. Kickin ass everywhere but in the seats of power.

wcvemail
wcvemail

"Abilene, Abilene

Prettiest town I ever seen. 
Folks down there don't treat you mean 
In Abilene, my Abilene."

At least the chorus is pretty.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

You can understand why the DoJ chooses to enforce this law. Profit!

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Legalize the real stuff. And a surge of dopamine is greatly under rated.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bvckvs

Think carefully about all of the businesses that would be negatively affected financially by the legalization of cannabis and it becomes quite evident that there is a tremendous amount of pressure on purveyors of "legal" drugs to keep a relatively cheap, easily obtainable, non-addictive intoxicant out of the hands of the general public.

Our government bureaucrats that "hate drugs" and continue to try to perpetuate the lies that sustain the "War On Weed" are merely pawns in the larger commercial enterprise that essentially is our government.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@bvckvs the government spends our money..on helicopters, guns, prisons that profit other corporations dumbshit

wcvemail
wcvemail

@ColonelAngus

I suspect the majority of street cops agree, and probably much of Congress. However, beat cops don't swing as much weight as the people who have invested their entire careers and professional reputations on fighting the Killer Weed. Consider people like General (Ret.) Barry McCaffrey and his ilk - these are the people who will never see the common-sense logic of abandoning the lost war on simple marijuana in favor of the much more difficult war on hard drugs. They cannot, because it would negate everything they've preached and earned money on and been interviewed about for the last decades.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

And Bill Bennett, George h w Bush, and cetera.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@wcvemail @ColonelAngus  Good points all.  Yet the first dominoes have fallen out west, and we are in line.  It is only a matter of time in my opinion.  As McCaffrey's generation retires and is replaced by the next, most of whom partied for at least a period of their younger lives, who understand that Reefer Madness is nonsense, decriminalization at a minimum is inevitable.  Even in Texas.  Common sense will eventually win the day.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Merrill Grinch... keep em coming.

Hope they take hold and someone drops one on live tv.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bvckvs @TheCredibleHulk

How is that bad math? I'll simplify it for you: Seagrams, InBev, Glaxo-Smithkline, Phizer, Bayer, Anhueiser-Busch, Smirnoff, an on and on . . . These are all already well established corporations with all of the requisite lobbyists and lawyers that come with that distinction. They are formidable, well organized and well financed and none of them would like to see cannabis legalized for obvious reasons.

The "other businesses" that seek to profit from the legalization of weed don't have what these entities have. It's going to be an uphill battle.

Having said all that, I do not discount your destabilization theory. That's just the icing on the cake for the War on Drugs authoritarians.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ColonelAngus @wcvemail

You have far more faith in the "common sense" of the everyday Texan than I do - Here's how I picture it going down.

Texas smokers: We want marijuana legalized for all kinds of good reasons, not least of which is that marijuana is pretty much harmless when consumed responsibly, and certainly less dangerous than alcohol.

Texas LEO's / Pols: Move to Colorado, you dirty hippies!

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Sadly, Texas may be the last domino to fall.

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