9 indicted in Colorado in synthetic drug crackdown

DENVER (AP) — Nine people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver as part of a national crackdown on synthetic marijuana.

Federal and state officials said Wednesday that the suspects are linked with a company called Heart of Asia that distributed the drug to smoke shops in several states. It’s owned by John Gilbert Owen of Las Vegas, who was among those arrested under the indictment starting Wednesday morning. It’s not clear where he was being held or if he has a lawyer.

Investigators say the business sold to shops in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Alaska, Ohio, Georgia and Illinois as well Colorado.

Synthetic pot has been linked to outbreaks of illness and at least one death in Colorado — a 15-year-old boy last year.

While real marijuana is legal in Colorado, synthetic pot is not.

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