NORRISTOWN >> A Lansdale man will be under court supervision for the next three years after headmitted to dealing a relatively new, LSD-like synthetic hallucinogen that Montgomery County law enforcement officials said they had not seen before in the area.
Mohammed Hassan Hanif, 21, of the first block of East Sixth Street, pleaded guilty to felony counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver a designer drug. He was sentenced by Judge William J. Furber, Jr., to four to 23 months behind bars — then granted parole after already serving 120 days in county jail since his August arrest — and three years of probation, as well as 36 hours of community service.
Records indicate Hanif must also pay $3,846.50 in court costs and fees.
Lansdale detectives said they began investigating Hanif last April when they received a tip that an individual named “Robbie” — soon determined to be Hanif — was purportedly selling LSD in the borough.
At the end of April, police said, a Lansdale detective — along with members of the Montgomery County DA’s Drug Task Force — learned that Hanif had set up an LSD sale in Hatfield Township, and the officers conducted a controlled buy at an unspecified location during which they allegedly saw Hanif hand another individual drugs in exchange for cash.
Afterward, detectives said, they recovered from the customer two tabs packaged in tinfoil that appeared similar in size and shape to LSD tabs.
However, after sending the tabs to a lab for testing, detectives later learned that they contained synthetic phenethylamines — including 25C-NBOMe and 25I-NBOMe — that mimic the effects of LSD. A relatively new designer drug, it’s known on the street as “25-I” or “N-Bomb,” according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Last May, detectives said, Hanif was again observed selling two tabs of the drug during a controlled buy at an unspecified location in Lansdale.
In 2013, the DEA classified these synthetic phenethylamines — which have been distributed as a powder or a liquid solution soaked onto blotter paper or added to edible items — as Schedule I controlled substances and declared them illegal for two years while determining whether they should be made permanently illegal.
“The NBOMe compounds are substantially more potent than other hallucinogenic compounds, and the data suggest that extremely small amounts of these drugs can cause seizures, cardiac and respiratory arrest, and death,” according to the DEA. “These compounds have been linked to the deaths of at least 19 Americans aged 15 to 29 between March of 2012 and August of 2013...users are playing Russian roulette when they abuse them.”