Lonnie Smith, 46, made his first court appearance in Pekin Friday on charges that include the drug-induced homicide of Anthony Phillips.
The 46 year-old Phillips of Pekin died on April 9th. He is one of the 3 people in the state to die from using synthetic marijuana. Lonnie Smith is also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and aggravated battery.
A multi-agency law enforcement effort brought about the Pekin man’s arrest that included the seizure of 3500 packets of K2/Spice.
Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stuart Umholtz says the more than 15 pounds of K2 tested positive for the FUB-AMB. That is the substance in Synthetic Cannabinoids placed on the Controlled Substance Act last year.
Umholtz says the distribution of the illegal substance is an unacceptable public safety risk and dealers must be held criminally responsible.
If Smith is convicted he faces up to 30-years in prison with a requirement to serve 75-percent of the sentence.
Two other people were also arrested for delivery or possession with the intent to deliver. Rachel Spires and Richard Booth allegedly sold synthetic cannabis related to the severe hemorrhaging in several people.
As of Friday there are 126 cases of severe bleeding in Illinois associated with K2. 43 of those are in Tazewell County. For the sake of scale, there are 33 cases in Chicago. Combined with the cases in Peoria and the two in Woodford County 76 of the 126 cases are in the tri-county region.