SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A 71-year-old central Illinois woman faces federal charges accusing her of possessing and intending to distribute synthetic marijuana.

Federal prosecutors say Letha Dean is the eighth defendant charged in a task force investigation of synthetic marijuana distribution in central Illinois. The Salisbury woman appeared before a Springfield federal judge Monday and waived a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors say Dean was arrested Friday after an undercover officer met with her and bought 520 packets of synthetic marijuana for $5,000. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that her case was assigned to attorney Jay Elmore, who didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

A recent outbreak of severe bleeding due to synthetic marijuana has killed three people and sickened nearly 130 others in Illinois.

Nothing in Dean’s criminal complaint indicated products that caused any injuries or deaths.

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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