Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2020
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced today that a federal grand jury in Cleveland returned a three-count indictment charging Justin Michl, age 23, of Akron with intent to distribute Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), possession of firearms in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking offense and money laundering.
According to the criminal complaint filed in this matter, On July 12, 2019, federal agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence in Akron and recovered over 3,500 THC vape cartridges. These cartridges contained a liquid that, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), may contain extraordinarily high THC levels ranging from 40% to 80%. This form of marijuana can be up to four times stronger in THC content than high-grade marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels.
In addition to the THC cartridges, agents recovered four firearms, ammunition, and $85,627 in United States currency. Agents also discovered that Michl purchased an all-terrain vehicle with drug trafficking proceeds in February of 2019.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation was conducted by the FDA – Office of Criminal Investigations in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Organized Crime Commission Major Crimes Task Force which consists of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Howell.
USAO - Ohio, Northern
Daniel Ball (216) 622-3921 Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov