Ten Indicted In Lafayette In Connection With Nationwide Synthetic Drug Takedown
LAFAYETTE, La. - A Lafayette b usinessman, along with eight others and Curios Goods, LLC were charged in a 16 count indictment with conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs, conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and various money laundering charges. Named in the indictment as defendants along with Curious Goods LLC are Alexander Derrick Reece, 40 of Gainesville, Fla.; Drew T. Green, 38 of Roswell, Ga.; Thomas William Malone, Jr., 45 of Roswell, Ga.; Boyd Anthony Barrow, 43 of Canton, Ga.; Joshua Espinoza, 49 of Marietta, Ga.; Richard Joseph Buswell, 44 of Lafayette, La.; Daniel James Stanford, 54 of Lafayette, La.; Daniel Paul Francis, 42 of Dawsonville, Ga.; and Barry L. Domingue, 52 of Carencro, La.
The indictment alleges that Curious Goods, LLC, a business based in Lafayette and controlled by Richard Buswell, sold a product called “Mr. Miyagi” that was infused with synthetic cannabinoids. Although mislabeled as a potpourri, “Mr. Miyagi” was sold to be smoked for the sole purpose of getting the consumer of the product “high.” The synthetic cannabinoids infused into “Mr. Miyagi” are considered Schedule I controlled dangerous substances under federal law.
From March 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, Curious Goods stores throughout Acadiana had sales of “Mr. Miyagi” totaling $5 million. According to the indictment, Pinnacle Products LLC/Pinnacle Products Group based in Marietta, Ga., manufactured “Mr. Miyagi” and supplied the product to Curious Goods, LLC. Pinnacle Products was controlled and operated by Boyd Anthony Barrow and Joshua Espinoza. Pinnacle obtained the synthetic cannabinoids utilized to manufacture
“Mr. Miyagi” from NutraGenomics, an Alpahretta, Ga. based company controlled by Drew T. Green and Thomas William Malone, Jr. NutraGenomics distributed synthetic cannabinoids throughout the United States. The majority of the synthetic cannabinoids distributed by NutraGenomics were supplied by Alexander Derrick Reece through the companies Mountain Industry LLC and Blue Sky International Broker LLC. This indictment follows an investigation conducted jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Federal Bureau of (FBI), U.S. Homeland Security (HSI), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal (IRS), Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal (FDA), Lafayette Metro Narcotics, Louisiana State Police, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking (GCHIDTA), and the 15th Judicial District, District Attorney’s Office.
At the time of this indictment, Buswell was already facing federal criminal charges related to his role in an investor fraud scheme. Mr. Buswell has pleaded not guilty to those charges and is awaiting trial. The investigation and indictment of this case were part of Operation Log Jam, a nationwide synthetic drug takedown that occurred on July 25, 2012. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” “Mr. Miyagi,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as incense or potpourri to mask their intended purpose.
Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Orleans Division, Jimmy S. Fox, III, stated, “Today’s federal indictments of Curious Goods LLC and their criminal associates represent the sole basis for Operation Log Jam and DEA’s fight to stem the tide of synthetic drugs in this country. Anecdotally, anytime users put uncontrolled or unregulated drugs, or drugs with unknown effects, into their bodies, they are playing Russian roulette - there is simply no way to know with any accuracy what the potentially harmful effects in both the short and long term will be. This case should give those who choose to traffic synthetic drugs pause because they could be next.”An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.