FRESNO- On April 15, 2019, Haitham Eid Habash, aka Eddie Habash, 55, of Hawthorne, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for his role in supplying synthetic drugs to wholesale internet drug traffickers. Habash was also ordered to forfeit more than $193,000 in proceeds derived from drug trafficking.
According to court documents, in 2015, Habash manufactured smoke-able synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as “spice,” which contained AB-Chminaca, AB-Pinaca, and XLR11, all of which are Schedule I controlled substances. Habash personally negotiated with and obtained the raw chemicals directly from Chinese suppliers. He would then dilute them with a solvent before mixing them with flavoring to add to dried plant material. Habash sold his drugs under various brand names, including Bizarro and his own special blend, Mr. High. His customers included his co-defendant Majed Bashir Akroush, aka Magic Mike, 51, of Bakersfield, who sold Habash’s product over the internet under the business names of Magic Mans Wholesale, Blue Whale Wholesale, and World of Incense.
According to the plea agreement, on April 14, 2015, CHP officers intercepted 95 pounds of synthetic cannabinoid products manufactured by Habash in Bakersfield.
The case against Akroush is still pending. He is charged with the drug conspiracy and two substantive drug offenses, all of which carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Akroush is also charged with conspiring to structure several million dollars obtained from his drug trafficking activity. The structuring charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which includes:
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration,
- IRS Criminal Investigation,
- Federal Bureau of Investigation,
- Homeland Security Investigations,
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service,
- California Highway Patrol,
- California Department of Motor Vehicles,
- Kern County Probation,
- Kern County Sheriff’s Office,
- and Bakersfield Police Department.
“Combining investigative resources is a positive way to go after those who manufacture and traffic illegal drugs,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.