Headshop chain owner in custody of Marshals after violation of release

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - The owner of the Tebbs Headshop chain throughout Central New York was originally free until his sentencing, but federal court officials say a violation has changed that.

John Tebbetts III pleaded guilty in December to possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, controlled substance analogues and engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity. As part of the plea, Tebbetts admitted to owning several Tebb's Headshops throughout Central New York and Maine, including Syracuse, Oneida, Utica and Herkimer, as well as admitting to using a warehouse on East Dominick Street in Rome to store the controlled substance.

During that plea, Tebbetts admitted that he possessed synthetic cannibinoids, commonly referred to as "Spice" or "K2", and marketed by Tebbetts as 'Legal Phunk,' with the intent to distribute the products. Authorities say he also admitted to possessing synthetic cathinones, commonly known as "Bath salts", and distributed by Tebbetts as 'Clear' and 'Amped,' with the intent to distribute them and intending that they be used for human consumption.

He was released following his December guilty plea and scheduled to return April 29. His freedom between the guilty plea and the sentencing were based on conditions set by the court, which included not possessing, distributing or manufacturing any type of controlled substance.

However, Federal Court officials say Tebbetts violated those conditions when he tested positive for oxycodone during a visit to his probation officer on April 9. These are not considered new charges, but violations of his conditions, court officials stressed.

Due to that violation, he was placed into the custody of U.S. Marshals until his sentencing, which has now been moved to July 30, 2013.

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