Eagle man William Oldenburg, 66, admitted that between March 2011, and May 2012 he conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,800 pounds of the synthetic marijuana substitute known as spice, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced Monday.
Oldenburg also admitted to taking part in a conspiracy to conduct a series of financial transactions in order to evade federal reporting requirements.
He pled guilty Monday to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue and conspiracy to structure transactions. The first charge carries maximum penalties of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine. Maximum penalties for the transactions charge are five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Oldenburg is the former owner of a company that operated Boise Beverage and Tobacco and The Pit Stop Express, both on W. Fairview Avenue in Boise.
According to Olson's office, both were "head shops" - stores that sell paraphernalia used almost exclusively for illegal drug consumption even though their official purpose is the use of tobacco products. He is one of 17 people charged last year following an operation that targeted illegal sales of spice at 13 Treasure Valley businesses. According to search warrant affidavits, nine of the 13 businesses were openly selling spice, which the Idaho legislature criminalized in 2011.
Oldenburg is scheduled to be sentenced June 17.