ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A former Schenectady resident has pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute synthetic cannabinoids (frequently referred to as “spice” or K2”) in Schenectady. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said Abdullah Hussein, 43, of California, pleaded guilty on Thursday.
As part of his plea, Hussein admitted that from March 2018 through August 2018, he conspired with Rayen Hussein and Abdulqadoos Alomari to sell 2.5 kilograms’ worth of synthetic cannabinoids out of the former Stockade Market and Deli in downtown Schenectady. DOJ said the synthetic cannabinoid in the packets was ADB-FUBINACA, which is a Schedule I controlled substance.
DOJ said they planned to sell the cannabinoids in brightly colored packets. The packets would be labeled with names including “Scooby Snax,” “Ice Dragon,” “Loopy,” “What’s Up,” and “Geeked Up.”
Co-conspirators Rayen Hussein and Alomari were arrested on August 17, 2018, when investigators executed federal search warrants on multiple locations in Schenectady, Amsterdam, and Glenville. Investigators reportedly seized a kilogram’s worth of synthetic marijuana packaged for distribution. They have both pled guilty to conspiring to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and are awaiting sentencing.
Abdullah Hussein, Rayen Hussein, and Alomari each face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison, fines of up to $1 million, and terms of supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life.
Co-conspirator Mansoor Ghaleb pleaded guilty to importing eight kilograms of synthetic cannabinoids from China with the goal of processing the raw chemicals into “spice” or “K2” for distribution in the Capital Region, including out of the Stockade Market and Deli. On August 21, 2019, Ghaleb was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release.