Woman gets 2 years in prison for selling fake pot

  • A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals such as synthetic cannabis.

    A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals such as synthetic cannabis. AP Photo/Kelley McCall, February 2010

  • North Aurora Fire Protection District Captain Todd Zies makes phone calls at the scene of the fatal accident in June 2011 that killed Max Dobner.

      North Aurora Fire Protection District Captain Todd Zies makes phone calls at the scene of the fatal accident in June 2011 that killed Max Dobner. John Starks | Staff Photographer, June 2011

  • Max Dobner

    Max Dobner

  • Karen Dobner speaks on how she lost her son, Max, after he died in a car crash after smoking synthetic cannabis.

      Karen Dobner speaks on how she lost her son, Max, after he died in a car crash after smoking synthetic cannabis. James Fuller | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Karen Dobner speaks to the press, including WBBM-TV reporter Dave Savini, after the sentencing of Ruby Mohsin.

      Karen Dobner speaks to the press, including WBBM-TV reporter Dave Savini, after the sentencing of Ruby Mohsin. Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/26/2018 6:44 PM

The owner of an Aurora tobacco shop that sold synthetic cannabis to Max Dobner the day he drove a car into the side of a house in 2011 has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Ruby Mohsin of Glen Ellyn must report to prison May 1. She has been free since her 2015 arrest.

 

The charge stems from a sale more than a month after Dobner's death to an undercover police officer, by an employee of Mohsin's store, The Cigar Store.

She could have received probation, or up to five years in prison.

"I just wanted justice for Max," Karen Dobner, his mother, said afterward. She said she wished the sentence were longer, and feared Mohsin would only get probation.

Dobner said the synthetic cannabis 19-year-old Max smoked June 14, 2011, led to a panic attack that caused him to crash his car. She said Max called his brother Justin and told him "I smoked that legal stuff. My heart is pounding." His brother told him to take a shower and lie down.

Instead, Dobner drove his car between 80 and 90 mph through the west sides of Aurora and North Aurora, knocked down a traffic sign, drove over a median and into the wrong lane of traffic. He then drove through a stop sign at the T-intersection of Mooseheart Road and Route 31 without stopping, hit a low garden wall and flew into a house. The impact was so great the engine landed in a separate room from the chassis.

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Blood tests confirmed the presence of a synthetic cannabinoid. The federal prosecutor, Matthew Schneider, said there is evidence some synthetic cannabinoids may have up to 167 times the effect of natural cannabis.

U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle said Mohsin knew there was a probability of serious injury or death to users who ingested the products she was selling as incense or potpourri. And until Friday afternoon, she had not taken responsibility for selling the products, even though she pleaded guilty in February 2017, Norgle said. He said that was evident from the number and content of pleadings, arguments and witnesses she presented from the time she pleaded guilty. And her saying that selling the iAroma potpourri Dobner took "a grand mistake" Friday showed she didn't acknowledge she was responsible for selling the product.

Mohsin told the judge: "I am very ashamed, and I want to express my feeling that I apologize and I am fully ashamed of what happened. I say this from the depth of my heart, from the deep, deep depths of my heart."

She also apologized to Karen Dobner -- but Dobner doesn't buy it.

"I think that she is a greedy woman who only cares for herself and her family," Karen Dobner said afterward. "I think she is sorry she got caught."

Mohsin's daughter testified her mother was a hardworking widow trying to support her family when she sold iAroma Hypnotic potpourri/incense to Max Dobner of Aurora in June 2011. She was no drug dealer, public defender Piyush Chandra contends, because she believed it was a legal product, and the packaging clearly stated the product was not to be consumed by humans.

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