(CBS) — It is a story the 2 Investigators have been following for seven years, and now a suburban mom has successfully taken down a drug ring she says killed her son.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini has been covering Karen Dobner’s battle since the death of her son, Max Dobner.
“I always felt like he was by my side helping me,” she says of her 19-year-old son.
He suffered hallucinations and a panic attack and drove 100 mph into a home, accidentally killing himself.
His mother partly blames Ruby Moshin, who sold Max and his friend a product called iAroma, a type of synthetic marijuana, marshmallow leaves sprayed with chemicals.
Moshin sold the product from a store she owned at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora in 2011.
“She said to them, ‘Would you like to try my new specials? I have new flavors,’” Dobner says. “I don’t know what kind of mother sells drugs in the mall to kids.”
The 2 Investigators caught up with Moshin entering the federal courthouse to be sentenced for her role in selling iAroma, but she made no comment.
Evidence showed she bought thousands of iAroma packets to sell out of the store; she called it potpourri.
Counters Karen Dobner: “Nobody buys potpourri by the gram – ever – $20 a gram.”
After Max Dobner’s death, his mother wanted justice. For seven years, she fought to take down everyone involved in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of iAroma to her son.
Dobner credits the 2 Investigators with helping her cause.
“The CBS investigation started everything rolling,” said Dobner.
At one point, the 2 Investigators went undercover to Moshin was still selling the product months after Max Dobner’s death.
Police also made undercover buys.
“She continued to sell, and that’s why she’s going to prison,” Karen Dobner says. “If she had stopped selling after she sold to Max, she wouldn’t be going to prison.”
Dobner also hired Attorney Shawn Collins, who filed suit against those involved with the iAroma product that led to Max Dobner’s crash.
“It was the whole chain — she wanted to go after the whole distribution chain,” Collins says. “Through our investigation, we learned that there was literally a nationwide distribution network – North Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Louisiana.”
Says Dobner: “Four people have been indicted that were involved in Max’s death.”
Three people, including Moshin, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs. A fourth, a wholesaler, pleaded guilty to intentionally distributing the drugs in Illinois, North Carolina and Louisiana.
Dobner says she won for her son, but would trade everything to have him back.
She also has been working for years to warn people about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, which can be 800 times stronger than real marijuana and especially dangerous because consumers don’t know what ingredients are in it.
Moshin will serve two years in federal prison.