Boise man sent to prison in “spice” drug case

Mark Ciccarello, 37, will spend three years in federal prison and forfeit $4.5 million in profits from selling “Zombie Matter” and other spice products nationwide.

Ciccarello pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge allowed Ciccarello to remain free until he receives a prison assignment. It typically takes six weeks for the federal Bureau of Prisons to assign a new inmate to a prison.

Ciccarello was one of four Boise men arrested in early 2013, accused of importing chemicals from China that were used in the manufacture of the drugs. The enterprise operated for two years before the four were arrested.

Troy Palmer was sentenced last August to more than three years in prison. William Mabry and Robert Eoff were sentenced to two years each in prison.

Spice is a synthetic marijuana that is typically sold in head shops, gas stations and online. It is often marketed as incense or potpouri.

The drug is often smoked and gives users a relaxed feeling and altered perception. It can also cause extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The case was the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, with assistance from Boise, Meridian and Nampa police departments, the Ada and Canyon County sheriff’s office and several federal law enforcement agencies.