Local man sentenced to 8 years in prison for armed drug trafficking of synthetic narcotics
VICTORIA, Texas – A 21-year-old Victoria man has been ordered to federal prison for possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Terry Ray White Jr. pleaded guilty May 1, 2017 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a synthetic cannabinoid and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey sentenced White to 36 months for the drug offense followed by a consecutive 60 months for possessing the firearm. The total 96-month sentence will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court acknowledged the significant danger of synthetic narcotics and remarked that repeated possession of firearms with drugs was an aggravating factor.
During the conspiracy, law enforcement had stopped White for traffic violations and found him in possession of large quantities of synthetic cannabinoid packages as well as several handguns. The investigation revealed White was connected to the distribution of the synthetic cannabinoids between Houston and Victoria. Laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of a scheduled substance, AB-CHMINACA, and 5F-MDMB-PINACA and FUB-AMB, controlled under the Controlled Substance Analog Act.
Synthetic cannabinoids aka “Spice” or “K2” pose a nationwide health concern that is on the rise and posing a serious threat to public health and safety. The effects of these drugs have been described as unpredictable, with wide-ranging physiological effects to include possible kidney damage and gastrointestinal distress to possible seizures and even psychosis. The drugs are often made in unsafe and dirty environments in which they are created, to include inconsistent batches blended in cement mixers and similar equipment. This can result in “hot spots” in which one sample could have a significantly greater amount of harmful chemical than another. They are often packaged attractively to appeal to teenagers and young adults.
White has been in federal custody since his arrest March 21, 2017. He will remain there pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Texas Department of Public Safety and Port Lavaca Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt is prosecuting the case.