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Judge gives gas station owner 2.5 years over synthetic pot

Posted: 7:05 PM, Mar 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-21 00:05:50Z
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a Madison-area gas station chain owner to spend two-and-a-half years in prison and pay a $1 million fine for selling synthetic marijuana and possessing untaxed chewing tobacco.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson sentenced Farooq Shahzad on Wednesday. Shahzad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and trafficking in contraband cigarettes in January.

Shahzad owns and operates Capitol Petroleum LLC. According to prosecutors, Shahzad conspired with other Capitol Petroleum employees to distribute synthetic marijuana between July 2105 and May 2016 and continued to sell even after investigators executed search warrants at two of his stations in 2015.

Prosecutors said he also obtained and sold untaxed chewing tobacco from distributors who weren’t licensed in Wisconsin, avoiding about $52,000 in state sales tax.