Business Owners Charged with Selling $16 Million in Synthetic Drugs
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 14, 2014|
KANSAS CITY, KS—An indictment unsealed here today alleges the owners of an Olathe-based business produced and sold dangerous controlled substances and controlled substance analogues of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) and methcathinones (stimulants) to rack up at least $16 million in sales in less than two years, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
The indictment alleges the conspirators sold products under exotic names including Pump It, Head Trip, Black Arts, Grave Digger, Voodoo Doll, and Lights Out. Some of the drugs were manufactured in buckets with drill-powered immersion mixers and tried out on “testers” who helped tweak the recipes by reporting on the drugs’ effects.
The indictment alleges the conspiracy stretched from Kansas to Missouri, California, Texas, Georgia, and Colorado, involving more than 15 companies with more than 40 financial accounts at more than 10 financial institutions.
“The indictment alleges the defendants were aware of—and even discussed—the potential harmful effects of the illegal substances they manufactured and distributed, including extreme physical reactions, overdoses and deaths,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.
Charged in the indictment are:
- Tracy Picanso, 58, Olathe, Kansas, and Roy Ehrett, 55, Olathe, Kansas, who lived together in Olathe and were owners and operators of businesses, including Retailing Specialists, Innovative Products 4U, The Outer Edge, Lakeridge Holdings, Monster Warehouse, Monster Distribution, Monster, 3P Distribution, and Life Source.
- Michelle Reulet, 34, and Michael Myers, 34, Montgomery, Texas, who owned Bully Wholesale, which was a large-scale independent wholesaler for The Outer Edge.
- Michael Meyers, 34, Montgomery, Texas, who lived with Reulet in Houston.
- Terrie Adams, 63, Denver, Colorado, who packaged, marketed, and distributed substances for Picanso and Ehrett.
- Craig Broombaugh, 29, formerly of Huntington Beach, Calif., who worked as a “cook,” manufacturing synthetic cannabinoids.
- Cindy McRoberts, 48, Lees Summit, Missouri, who worked as an office manager in Olathe and Kansas City Missouri warehouses.
- Christopher Freemyer, 46, Adrian, Missouri, who worked as a delivery driver, accounts manager, and warehouseman. He kept retail stores stocked.
Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues; distribution of buphedrone, a controlled substance; distribution of synthetic cannabinoids, which are controlled substance analogues; distribution of pentedrone, a controlled substance analogue; selling mislabeled drugs; selling misbranded drugs; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment alleges conspirators marketed their products at trade shows held throughout the country that cater to the smoke shop industry. In addition, conspirators are alleged to have sold misbranded and counterfeit drugs, including substances called Swing Her, and Swing Him, which they claimed had effects similar to Viagra. They are alleged to also have sold counterfeit Viagra and Cialis.
“Selling illegal prescription drugs, such as counterfeit Viagra and Cialis, to an unsuspecting public that believes them to be part of the legitimate drug supply chain, overseen by the FDA, places at risk the public’s health,” said Catherine A. Hermsen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation. “We commend our colleagues at the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office for their contributions in unraveling the multiple components of this complex case.”
Investigating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, the Overland Park Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Olathe Police Department, the St. Joseph Police Department, and the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force.