Local business owner sentenced to 5 years in prison

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV) -- A local business owner has been sentenced for distributing synthetic marijuana.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Clarksburg, 54-year-old Nicholas Graziano of Melville, NY was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $15,000 for distributing the drug.

Graziano pleaded guilty in March 2017 to one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance Analogue.”

Graziano is the owner and operator of X Hale Hookah Lounge in Morgantown. Officials say he was distributing synthetic marijuana from July 2012 to April 2014.

As part of his sentencing, Graziano was also forced to forfeit $94,777.83 seized at X-Hale- a business on Walnut Street in Monongalia County- in 2014, over $14,000 seized from United Bank accounts, a 2010 Infiniti registered in West Virginia, and the business license for Hookabuy,Inc.

The Mon Metro Drug and Violent Crime Task Force investigated the case.