Former head shop owner sentenced to 30 years in federal prison f - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former head shop owner sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for selling synthetic drugs

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A man who owned and operated a head shop in Iowa City in 2014 was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in federal prison.
Robert Carl Sharp, age 37, from Peoria, Illinois, received the prison term after an October 5, 2015 guilty plea to three counts of possessing with intent to distribute and conspiring to manufacture and distribute a synthetic drug called AB FUBINACA.

Court documents reflect that in 2012, in Peoria, Illinois, Sharp began selling, and later manufacturing, smokeable synthetic cannabinoid products which are commonly known as “Spice,” “incense,” or K2.  Sharp sold these products in packets that marketed the substances as incense, and contained a warning that the products were “not for human consumption,” although Sharp knew the products were actually intended for human consumption.  The synthetic cannabinoids in these products were actually research chemicals that have not been tested or approved as safe for human consumption, and which have unpredictable short-term effects and unknown long-term effects on users.  

On May 7, 2015, Sharp’s store, his house and storage unit in Center Point, along with his employee's house in Cedar Rapids, and the Pipe Dreamz store in Iowa City, were all searched by federal law enforcement.  During the searches, officers seized thousands of synthetic cannabinoid products, including the sprayed-on plant variety and a liquid form of the synthetic cannabinoids that was designed for use in e cigarettes.  Officers seized an active manufacturing lab in his employee's house. 

Sharp was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Sharp was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $300 was imposed.  Sharp was also ordered to pay forfeiture of $200,000 that represented proceeds of his drug dealing.  He must also serve a 3 year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system. His employee was previously sentenced to 115 months’ imprisonment.

Sharp is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

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