South Florida man sent inmates legal papers soaked with synthetic pot, officials say

Credit: Spencer Platt

Credit: Spencer Platt

A South Florida man is accused of masterminding a plot to smuggle synthetic marijuana into federal prisons, the Miami Herald reported.

Danny Angel Rodriguez, 46, who was released from federal prison in 2016 after serving a 22-year term for pistol-whipping a federal judge and several firearms convictions, is accused of soaking legal papers in a liquid form of cannabis that inmates could swallow to get high, the Herald reported.

Investigators said Rodriguez used the names of actual South Florida criminal defense attorneys on the paperwork to make the shipments look legitimate.

Rodriguez, who is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, was sentenced in April to three years' imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez for violating his probation in the previous firearms case.

Investigators said an accomplice, Lucia Mendez, 46, pleaded guilty in May and is helping authorities build a case against Rodriguez.

According to court records, officials at the Federal Bureau of Prisons intercepted a package of Adb-Fubinaca, a cannabinoid that was disguised as legal mail and sent to inmates in April 2017.

The couple created legal packets with the names of seven legitimate criminal defense attorneys and built a website that featured actual photos of the attorneys in their offices, the Herald reported.

"Once the packets were created, the documents were impregnated (soaked) with the narcotic and mailed to numerous federal inmates throughout the United States," the affidavit said. "Rodriguez often mailed the packages himself, and Mendez accepted payment and laundered those payments through personal business bank accounts."

FBI agents said they seized 33 packages sent to prison inmates by Rodriguez, most of which tested positive for the drug, the Herald reported.

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