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2 men sentenced to 60 combined years for selling spice in Hampton Roads

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) -- Two men who ran a $21 million spice operation that shipped the drug to areas of Hampton Roads were sentenced this week to a combined 60 years.

Authorities for the Eastern District of Virginia say 46-year-old Charles Burton Ritchie and 42-year-old Benjamin Galecki headed up Zencense, a Pensacola, Florida-based company that made smokable synthetic cannabinoids -- also known as spice.

The company gave its spice blends names including Bizarro, Neutronium, Orgazmo, and Sonic Zero.

Ritchie and Galecki were purported to sell the company in 2012 to a third party in California, but continued to maintain control under the company's new name, ZenBio, into 2013.

Authorities say ZenBio shipped 1,000 kilgrams of spice to the Hampton Roads area -- where it was sold at at Hampton Pipe and Tobacco and the Red Barn in Newport News.

The two men were convicted in January of this year.

Ritchie received a sentencing of 32 years, while Galecki was sentenced to 28 years. Both are ordered to forfeit $6.5 million.


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