The Bakersfield internet synthetic marijuana dealer known as “Magic Mike” received a sentence of 33 months in prison Monday, federal authorities said.
Majed Bashir Akroush, 52, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring to structure over $700,000 in cash withdrawals from four different bank accounts associated with his internet businesses.
Property, Cash, 1962 Impala Seized
According to court documents, Akroush structured cash withdrawals over a three-year period in amounts just under $10,000 in order to evade the currency transaction report filing requirements. In addition to imposing a prison sentence, the court fined the defendant $7,500 and ordered the forfeiture of the following assets by Akroush:
- property in Bakersfield;
- $109,555 seized from five different bank accounts;
- $199,181 in cash seized from a safe in his residence;
- $233,460 in cash seized from two safe deposit boxes;
- and a 1962 Chevrolet Impala worth $200,000.
Synthetic Products Contained Illegal Drugs
Court documents stated that during the time of the structured cash withdrawals, Akroush operated several internet businesses: Magic Man’s Wholesale, Blue Whale Wholesale, World of Incense, and Blue Bear. These businesses distributed synthetic marijuana to convenience stores, smoke shops, and other customers throughout the country.
Federal agents successfully seized and shut down these websites and forfeited the domain names.
Although marketed as a legal alternative to marijuana, the products contained illegal drugs that have much more harmful effects than marijuana. Akroush structured the proceeds derived from synthetic drug sales as a means of concealing the illegal nature of his businesses.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the California Highway Patrol. Assisting in the investigation were the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Kern County Probation, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and Bakersfield Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Henry Z. Carbajal III are prosecuting the case.