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Man involved in Idaho 'spice' ring pleads guilty to conspiracy charge

BOISE, Idaho – A Boise man linked to a Treasure Valley-based scheme to manufacture a synthetic cannabinoid, commonly known as spice, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to launder money.

William B. Mabry, 45, admitted he knowingly entered into a conspiracy with others beginning in March 2011 to conduct financial transactions connected with spice manufacturing and distribution. According to the plea agreement, the transactions involved illicit proceeds generated by spice sales, which were conducted with both foreign and domestic financial institutions.

Mabry faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, and up to three years of supervised release.

Mabry and the four other co-defendants were indicted and arrested in May following a probe by special agents and officers with the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, and the Boise, Meridian and Nampa police departments.

The indictment alleges that between March 1, 2011, and July 9, 2012, within the states of Idaho, Alaska, California, Washington, and Wisconsin, the defendants conspired to purchase and import chemicals from China, which they used to treat innocuous plant matter to make spice, a synthetic cannabinoid similar to substances listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The indictment further alleges the defendants conspired to sell and transport drug paraphernalia for sale, and that they conspired to launder money illegally obtained through their drug, importation and paraphernalia violations. The government is seeking forfeiture of proceeds derived from the alleged criminal activities.

Mabry’s sentencing is set for Nov. 4 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise. Trial for the other defendants, Mark A. Ciccarello and Holly F. Ciccarello, of Meridian, and Boise residents Robert A. Eoff and Troy L. Palmer is scheduled to begin Oct. 22. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho is prosecuting.

The OCDETF program is a federal, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. Other federal agencies participating in the OCDETF program include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.