AMARILLO, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — An Amarillo convenience store owner and drug trafficker was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison for his role in distributing synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “K-2” or “spice,” announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Phouphet Sayasane, 43, a.k.a. “Phet” pleaded guilty in December 2019 to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
According to court documents, Sayasane owned and or assisted in operating a network of convenience stores and “smoke shops” around the Amarillo area where he and co-defendants sold illegal synthetic cannabinoids.
According to the DEA, “K-2” and “spice” are two of the many street names for synthetic cannabinoids which are human-made, mind-altering chemicals developed to mimic the effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient of marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids – which can cause increased heart rate, seizures, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations, and other symptoms – are typically marketed in rectangular, heat-sealed packets with brightly colored wording and street names to add appeal.
Sayasane, and co-defendants, Paul Vang, 46, Krystal Vang, 43, Danny Vorasane, 31, Terry Morgan, 57, and Andrew Rodriguez, 35, most commonly sold synthetic cannabinoids to customers in one-gram and five-gram packages, often labelled as “aroma therapy.”
In plea papers, Sayasane admitted to supplying bulk amounts of “K-2” directly to other convenience stores and “smoke shops” in Amarillo including those of Paul Vang and Krystal Vang.
Through the network of convenience stores, Sayasane illegally distributed in excess of three kilograms of K-2 into the Amarillo community.
Other co-defendants also received the following sentences for their involvement: Paul Vang, 51 months, Krystal Vang, 46 months, Danny Vorasane, 37 months, Terry Morgan, 27 months, and Andrew Rodriguez, probation.
This investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, the Amarillo Police Department, the Potter County Sheriff’s Office, the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is prosecuting this case. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk handed down the sentence.