State College store owner sentenced to prison for selling synthetic marijuana

mcarroll@centredaily.comNovember 4, 2013 

A man who told authorities he co-owned Jamaica Junction and ordered products for the downtown State College head shop could spend almost two years in county jail for selling synthetic marijuana.

Michael K. Hultberg was sentenced Monday to serve 111/2 to 231/2 months in the Centre County Correctional Facility under the terms of a plea agreement. The man, known as “Uncle Mike,” pleaded guilty in September.

Prosecutors said Hultberg asked to serve his time on house arrest, but Judge Jonathan D. Grine handed down the jail sentence.

Authorities raided Jamaica Junction and a number of other downtown head shops in February 2012 as a part of a crackdown on synthetic drug sales in the Centre Region.

Prosecutors said an investigation revealed Hultberg was ordering about 5 pounds of synthetic drugs per week to be delivered to Jamaica Junction.

Investigators seized 3,000 packages that were marketed under 28 brands from the store.

Hultberg‘s attorney, Tony DeBoef, said his client is not the owner of the business, but a manager.

Authorities, however, said Hultberg told them he owned the business.

“We will not tolerate drug pushers masquerading as legitimate businessmen and women,” District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a news release. “Those who seek profit at the expense of addicts, children, and our communities’ quality of life will find no sanctuary among the honest, responsible businesses that help make Centre County the great place it is.”

Hultberg pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession with intent to deliver and a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia.

DeBoef said his client will report to the county prison Friday to begin serving his sentence.

Hultberg is the second downtown business figure sentenced to serve jail time stemming from the February 2012 raids.

John B. O’Keefe, 48, who owned the former Dragon Chasers Emporium at 115 S. Fraser St., previously pleaded guilty to three felony charges of possession with intent to distribute.

He was sentenced to 111/2 to 23 months in the Schuylkill County Prison in Pottsville.

Police seized more than 900 packets of drugs from Dragon Chasers alone.

The State College store was depositing $6,000 to $10,000, police said at the time. Approximately $1.5 million was seized from O’Keefe’s bank accounts, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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