Treasure Valley man, others indicted in drug case

Authorities say a huge operation distributed synthetic cannabinoid products in Idaho.

sdeter@idahostatesman.comMay 16, 2013 

Mark Ciccarello was indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts - including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue, conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States and conspiracy to launder money - according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.

Four co-defendants - Robert A. Eoff, Troy L. Palmer, William B. Mabry and Holly F. Ciccarello - were indicted on the distribution and smuggling charges.

The criminal complaint, based on an affadavit by Jason Bell, a criminal investigation special agent with the Internal Revenue Service, describes the scale of the operation Mark Ciccarello and the others are accused of running. The affadavit and the indictment contain many allegations:

• Spice, which is synthetic marijuana, was being obtained and manufactured in Idaho, Rancho Cordova, Calif., and Spokane.

• The spice was marketed via a company called Zombie Matter LLC and distributed throughout the U.S. from around March 1, 2011, to about July 25, 2012. A Boise call center handled sales.

• Synthetic cannaboid products from Zombie Matter were seized in Hayden, Coeur d'Alene, Elmira, N.Y., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

• Mark Ciccarello allegedly procured some of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of the products from China. The affadavit said a parcel containing more than 2,000 grams of powder shipped from China to a manufacturing facility used by Ciccarello was intercepted in March 2012 in San Francisco. The powder contained the synthetic cannaboid UR-144.

• Ciccarello allegedly knew the spice produced for him was being consumed by people, so he labeled it "not for human consumption" to try to keep the shops that were selling it out of legal trouble.

• Sales of Zombie Matter products generated millions of dollars.

• Mark Ciccarello transferred about $360,000 derived from his alleged activities from a Bank of America account in Spokane to TitleOne in Boise to buy a home on South Appia Avenue in Meridian.

In connection with the charges, the government is looking to seize properties, bank accounts and vehicles from Ciccarello and his co-defendants.

Mark Ciccarello's trial date is set for July 2.

Sean Deter: 377-6450; Twitter: IDS_Deter

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