Federal judge denies bond to suspect in K2 selling conspiracy

6 months 5 days 11 hours ago October 17, 2016 Oct 17, 2016 Monday, October 17 2016 Monday, October 17, 2016 4:40:00 PM CDT in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 Content Manager

JEFFERSON CITY - A federal judge denied bond to a man facing charges in a K2-selling conspiracy based in Callaway County.

Raja Nawaz, also known as "Rex," was one of 13 people indicted in April 2016 for the $6.6 million mail fraud scheme which authorities say distributed synthetic marijuana.

In a hearing Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt Whitworth denied a motion to set bond for Nawaz, citing three main reasons:

  • Authorities say some money collected during the conspiracy was never deposited into bank accounts, which could mean Nawaz would have access to considerable funds should he try to leave the country. He has also reportedly sent around $451,000 in drug money to his native Pakistan.
  • Nawaz is an "out of status" alien who has been married three times; in at least two of those marriages, allegations of marriage fraud were investigated. A detainer request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been filed.
  • Nawaz allegedly sold cannabinoids which were ingested by customers to the point of overdose. In one case, a customer reportedly used the drug while driving and passed out, hitting another vehicle and killing a woman inside.

Monday's ruling means Nawaz will remain in federal custody until his trial.

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