Federal inmate pleads guilty in scheme to distribute synthetic cannabinoids in prison


Date: June 8, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

PITTSBURGH – Robert Korbe pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute Schedule I synthetic cannabinoid controlled substances while in federal prison between 2017 and 2019.

Korbe formerly of Allegheny County pleaded guilty before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan. Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing to occur on August 3, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. Korbe was serving a federal prison sentence at FCI-Loretto in 2018 when he conspired to distribute the synthetic cannabinoid controlled substances soaked into paper, sometimes referred to as "K2 paper," supplied by former federal inmates who had been released to supervised release.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation , the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General led the multi-agency investigation that also included the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Beaver County District Attorney's Office, the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the United States Marshals Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Munhall Police Department, the Robinson Township Police Department, the McKees Rocks Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Etna Police Department, and the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

This case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, known as OCDETF. OCDETF was established in 1982 to support comprehensive investigations and prosecutions of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. It is the keystone of the drug reduction strategy of the Department of Justice. By combining the resources and expertise of federal agencies and their state and local law enforcement partners, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering, and transnational criminal organizations.