Local Merchants Sentenced for Distribution of Designer Drugs
LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and David Downing, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced that on January 28, 2015, Amjad Kattom, 37, and Fadi Qtouf, 29, were sentenced after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances and Analogues of Controlled Substances. The charges stem from Project Synergy, the largest coordinated law enforcement strike against designer drugs, specifically synthetic cannabinoids (often referred to as “K2” or “Spice”) and synthetic cathinones (often referred to as “bath salts”). Kattom and Qtouf, who are brothers, were two of the lead defendants in the case. Kattom was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment. Qtouf was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA—Tactical Diversion Squad composed of DEA Special Agents, DEA Diversion Investigators, and Task Force Officers from: Little Rock Police Department, Conway Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Pine Bluff Police Department. Also taking part in the investigation was Homeland Security Investigations; the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division including Task Force Officers from Benton Police Department and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office; with the United States Postal Inspectors and the Little Rock Police Department. Assisting agencies were the Arkansas National Guard; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the United States Secret Service; the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board.