CR Man Sentenced for Selling Synthetic Drugs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A judge has sentenced a man who sold synthetic cannabinoids to homeless people to nearly 20 years in federal prison.

45-year-old Benjamin McCauley of Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty in December to possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.

McCauley admitted to supplying synthetic cannabinoids to another person to sell to people in the free lunch line in Iowa City starting in 2014 after his brother was arrested on federal drug charges. Matthew McCauley was prosecuted in federal court to using his Cedar Rapids business, the Fragrance Hut, to sell illegal synthetic drugs.

In March 2015, officers searched McCauley's residence and found more than 240 grams of synthetic cannabinoids in packaging labeled "Buddah Shack," "Joker," and "Get Real." The packages also contained disclaimers that the products were "not for human consumption."

McCauley also admitted he used and distributed methamphetamine, and hired homeless people to buy boxes of psuedoephedrine for making meth.

At his sentencing hearing, the judge noted McCauley had 68 prior criminal convictions, including several for violent offenses.

The judge sentenced McCauley to 235 months in federal prison and a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.

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