A Newport Beach man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for directing a synthetic narcotics ring.

Sean Libbert, 41, spearheaded a drug trafficking conspiracy that made, marketed and sold synthetic marijuana, which is commonly known as “Spice.

Libbert pleaded guilty in November to directing a conspiracy that manufactured at least 100 kilograms of synthetic marijuana and was sentenced Wednesday, according to Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Synthetic marijuana is popular with teenagers and young adults because it can be less expensive and for its “glossy packaging,” Mrozek said.

Experts say it can be more dangerous than marijuana because of its potency, Mrozek said.

Libbert’s operation sold about $5 million worth of the synthetic marijuana across the nation.

Investigators seized about $11 million in assets in the case, including $700,000 from a former residence of the defendant’s in San Juan Capistrano, Mrozek said.

–City News Service

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