SEABROOK – On Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, local businessman William Walsh pleaded not guilty to charges of distributing fake marijuana resulting in death, and requested a jury trial.
Walsh, 55, is the owner of Seabrook’s Leather and Lace, Smoking Monkey and Up in Smoke establishments. He’s been incarcerated since his June 9 arrest on the charges, being confined in New Hampshire and Oklahoma, prior to arriving in the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia. A detention hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6 to determine if Walsh will be held or released on bail.
Walsh’s charges were brought after a multi-year investigation by federal authorities in Virginia.
According to Walsh’s indictment documents handed down by a federal grand jury, he is accused of selling synthetic cannabinoid, labeled “Mad Hatter Blueberry,” to a person who fatally overdosed after using it.
If convicted of the felony, Walsh faces a sentence ranging from 20 years to life in federal prison and as much as a $1 million fine.
Known commonly as spice and fake marijuana, synthetic cannabinoid is treated with any number of chemicals which cause a high when smoked and can be more dangerous than marijuana. Sold under various names, such as Mad Hatter, K-2 and…