Sentencing pushed back for Aurora shop owner who sold synthetic marijuana to teen before fatal crash

Thursday, 23 November 2017, 06:57:20 AM. An Aurora shop owner who sold a teen synthetic marijuana hours before his death now won't be sentenced until the new year.

An Aurora shop owner who sold a teen synthetic marijuana hours before his death now won't be sentenced until the new year.

Cigar Box owner Ruby Mohsin and employee Mohammad Khan both pleaded guilty in February agreements to conspiracy to distribute the synthetic drug, which Aurora college student Max Dobner, 19, bought at the store inside the Fox Valley Mall in 2011 and smoked with a friend before he crashed his car into a North Aurora house.

Mohsin and Khan each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Mohsin's sentencing began last week and was scheduled to continue Nov. 28, but Judge Charles R. Norgle Sr. has agreed to postpone it until Jan. 4, according to an order entered Tuesday. Court documents do not explicitly indicate why the sentencing was pushed back. Khan is still scheduled for sentencing Nov. 28.

In their pleas, Mohsin and Khan said they sold products including iAroma, Zero Gravity and Head Trip, which were labeled as potpourri and not for human consumption, knowing customers were buying them to get a marijuana-like high.

In June 2011, Mohsin sold three single-gram packages of such products to Dobner and a friend for $20. Later that day, Dobner crashed his car, ultimately driving into a house.

The next month, Khan sold two small packages of Head Trip and Kush Potpourri at the Cigar Box for $30 to an undercover law enforcement officer, according to his plea agreement.

During Mohsin's first sentencing hearing, federal defender Piyush Chandra asked the judge for permission to withdraw the guilty plea, disrupting the courtroom by refusing to take no for an answer, repeating his request many times, and ignoring Norgle asking him to sit down until he was physically escorted back to his seat. Norgle told Chandra he could file a written motion but that he would not accept it verbally.

Suliman Tanus, who pleaded guilty in December to knowingly and intentionally distributing a substance containing synthetic marijuana knowing it was intended for human consumption in both Aurora and North Carolina, was scheduled for sentencing this month.

Tanus bought the synthetics in wholesale quantities from Kevin Seydel, of Bettendorf, Iowa, who made the drugs and sold them to customers in other states, including Louisiana, North Carolina and Illinois, according to court documents.

Seydel mixed synthetic marijuana with acetone and put the mixture on marshmallow leaf, then added flavoring and dried it, according to court documents. He bought some of the chemicals he used from China, wire transferring money from a bank in Iowa.

In May 2011, after Seydel was arrested in Iowa, he gave Tanus his formula for making synthetic marijuana and customer list in return for a share of the proceeds from future sales, according to court records, which state Mohsin was among those customers.

Seydel pleaded guilty in December to charges including conspiracy to distribute the synthetics and conspiracy to transmit and transfer money from the U.S. to another country with the intent to promote the importation, possession and distribution of controlled substance analogues. Seydel was sentenced in June to four years in prison followed by two years of supervised release and fined $25,000.

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