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.