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Convenience store owner pleads guilty to selling synthetic pot

The owner of an East Side convenience store has pleaded guilty to charges related to the sale of synthetic marijuana, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Thursday.

Adel Abdullah, 32, of Lackawanna, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, controlled substance analogues, before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, Hochul said in a news release.

The conspiracy involved the sale of synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “spice,” at the Speedy Market, a convenience store at 1799 Genesee Street in Buffalo in 2011 and 2012, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the case.

Abdullah and two other men were in arrested in 2012 in what federal drug investigators called the first-ever arrest in New York State related to the sale of synthetic marijuana, which was banned by state health officials.

He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced April 6 by Skretny.