An Illinois mother has taken down the synthetic cannabis ring which sold the drugs her teenage son smoked before he accidentally killed himself while high.
Karen Dobner’s son Max was 19 when he plowed his car into a house at 100mph while having a panic attack and hallucinating in 2011.
He had smoked iAroma, a form of synthetic marijuana which he and a friend bought for $20 a gram in the Cigar Box, a now closed store in the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois.
Ruby Moshin, a 55-year-old Pakistani immigrant with three children, owned the store and sold it to the boys.
She marketed it as potpourri and sold it with labels which included the warning ‘not for human consumption’ but, having bought 1,000 1g packets of it and with the nature of her business, police said it was clear she intended to sell it to be smoked.
For four years after her son’s death, Dobner, 56, pleaded with investigators to bring the woman to justice.
Karen Dobner’s son died in 2011 after smoking synthetic marijuana. She has since brought down four people involved in the production, distribution and sale of the substance he smoked
She also hired her own attorney to sue the woman.
That lawyer discovered a ‘nationwide’ distribution network which he said involved people selling the substance illegally in North Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Louisiana.
In 2015, Moshin, Khan and two others were charged and all have since been jailed.
Suliman Tanus, another person who sold it to the public, was jailed for 30 months in November. Like Moshin, he had been selling it to the public in North Carolina.
Kevin Seydel is the wholesaler they bought it from.
He was indicted on a charge of intentional distributing drugs in Iowa and was jailed for four years in June last year as part of a plea deal.
Last month, Moshin was jailed for two years despite pleading with a judge to be spared prison time. She had pleaded guilty.
Max and his friend bought three different flavors of the synthetic marijuana from Moshin in June 2011.
The substance itself was made from crushed mushroom leaves that had been sprayed with chemical substances.
Online, where it is still marketed, it has clear ‘not for human consumption’ labels on it. Prosecutors say Moshin intentionally sold it as a recreational drug in the small packets.
Max Dobner, 19, died in June 2011 when he plowed his car into a house at 100mph. He had smoked the drug
This was the scene of the crash which took Max’s life. While suffering a panic attack and hallucinating, he drove his car at a speed of 100mph into this house
Ruby Mishon, 55, was jailed in January. She was the vendor who sold Max the drugs in the mall
‘Nobody buys potpourri by the gram… $20 a gram?’ Max’s mother Karen told CBS this week.
On the night of his death, Max had smoked it and took an adverse reaction to it.
He got into his car and sped down the road in a panic, losing control and smashing through the exterior of a random house.
The friend who was with him has not been named but he joined his mother’s fight to have the drug taken off the streets.
‘I thought I was going to die,’ he told CBS at the time of the accident.
Moshin continued working for months afterwards and continued to sell potpourri despite Max’s death.
The drug was marketed as potpourri but was intentionally sold as a recreational drug
For months after Max’s death, Moshin (seen above in undercover surveillance footage taken by police) continued to sell the drug. She later claimed in court Max’s death had given her anxiety
The store has been closed since her arrest.
Dobner’s lawsuit against the group is ongoing.
Max’s mother said she felt he was ‘with her’ throughout the process
It is not clear how much money she is seeking from them.
The mother became tearful as she told how Max had been ‘with her’ along her pursuit of justice.
Moshin will spend two years in a federal prison.
At her sentencing hearing, her children testified that she was a strict widow who had worked hard to provide for them but did not allow them to drink alcohol or take drugs.
A judge rejected their pleas to spare her jail, telling them: ‘In effect she sells a time bomb in a little bag and says on the way out, “thank you for your purchases,” while she rings up $20 for something she purchased for $2 or $3,’ Judge Charles Norgle Sr. said.