Three people were charged Monday by the U.S. attorney’s office with federal drug offenses for allegedly conspiring to sell synthetic marijuana at a West Side convenience store.
Faoud Masoud, Jamil Abdelrahman Jad Allah and Adil Khan Mohammed conspired to sell synthetic cannabinoids, known as K2, at King Mini Mart in the North Lawndale neighborhood, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago.
The three defendants, who all worked at the mart, were arrested Sunday. The complaint charges Masoud, 48, of Justice, Jad Allah, 44, of Justice, and Mohammed, 44, of Chicago, with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute, and distribute, a controlled substance.
Multiple people experienced adverse symptoms, including unusual bleeding, after using synthetic cannabinoids obtained from the store, according to the complaint. Some of the individuals were admitted to Chicago-area emergency rooms for treatment.
As of Monday, two people have died in Illinois, including one in the Chicago area, after experiencing severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. To date, 56 people have been hospitalized for severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids, including 17 in Chicago and five in Cook County.
Late last week, undercover law enforcement officers purchased K2 from Jad Allah and Mohammed inside the store located in the 1300 block of South Kedzie Avenue, the complaint states. The synthetic cannabinoids were packaged in sealed containers and labeled with names such as “Matrix,” “Blue Giant” and “Crazy Monkey,” according to the charges.
During a license premise inspection late last week, law enforcement officials found two packages of suspected synthetic cannabinoids labeled “Blue Giant” and “Crazy Monkey” behind the store counter in plain view, the complaint states. Law enforcement officials also seized approximately 1,920 grams of suspected synthetic cannabinoids from an underground storage area located outside the rear of the store and closed the store, according to the complaint.
Preliminary testing of some of the cannabinoids purchased by the undercover officer revealed a detectable amount of brodifacoum, a toxic substance frequently used in rat poison, the complaint states.
Masoud made an initial court appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel G. Martin who ordered him to remain in federal custody until a detention hearing on Thursday. Initial court appearances for Jad Allah and Mohammed are set for Tuesday at 11 a.m. before Judge Martin.
April 2: Two people have died in Illinois, including one in the Chicago area, after experiencing severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
March 22: Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan discusses his agency’s role in combating the opioid crisis.
March 12: A citywide campaign seeks to curb underage drinking through public awareness and school policy reforms. “We don’t want schools to suspend students,” said Juan Padilla, a Voices of Youth in Chicago Education organizer.