Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 2, 2020
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland, Ohio has returned a two-count indictment charging Artyom Garber, age 33, Paul Queenan, age 64 and John Botsford, age 62, all of Michigan with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC).
According to court documents, Garber (formally of Cleveland, Ohio), Queenan and Botsford agreed to deliver 9,800 THC vape cartridges from Ann Arbor, Michigan to a residence in Cleveland, Ohio. On October 10, 2019, agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) performed an investigative stop of Queenan and Botsford in Cleveland and seized the cartridges. During an investigation, detectives learned of an additional 700 THC cartridges remaining in a storage unit in Dearborn Heights, Michigan that belonged to Garber and Queenan.
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, each defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, 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. The Task Force consists of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, FDA, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron P. Howell.
USAO - Ohio, Northern
Daniel Ball (216) 622-3921 Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov