NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- A Hampton man is facing 210 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substances analogues.
31-year-old Jayson Mickle pleaded guilty last year to selling smokable synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as "spice." Mickle sold spice in the Hampton Roads area and eventually nationwide, according to his plea agreement.
Spice consists of a plant material sprayed with active chemical ingredients, which are often produced in China. The chemicals mimic the effect that the human body has with THC.
Bags of spice commonly come with a warning on the label stating "not for human consumption," but officials believe Mickle know the spice was being smoked.
It is believe that Mickle sold through retail stores like the Hampton Pipe and Tobacco locations in Hampton, Newport News, Gloucester, and Norfolk. In 2010, Mickle began an online operation entitled "Blazin Herbs."
Between January 2012 and April 2013, it is estimated that Mickle sold over 1,000 kilograms of spice. From 2010 to 2012 alone, Mickle's operation grossed over $9.6 million in spice sales.
In addition to being sentenced to 17 years behind bars, Mickle was ordered to forfeit more than two dozen real estate properties he purchased from his drug proceeds.