FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2003
AND APPERSON CONVICTED OF LSD CHARGES
LARGEST LSD LAB SEIZURE IN DEA HISTORY
Special Agent in Charge Stephen Delgado, Drug Enforcement Administration, San Francisco Field Division, and United States Attorney Eric Melgren, District of Kansas, announced today that Bay Area residents William Leonard Pickard, 57, Mill Valley, California, and Clyde Apperson, 47, Sunnyvale, California, were found guilty today, following an eleven week jury trail of one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 10 grams of LSD from August 1999 through November 2000 and one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than 10 grams of LSD on November 6, 2000.
Melgren stated that according to court testimony, this was the largest LSD lab seizure ever made by the Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA agents seized approximately 41.3 kilograms (90.86 pounds) of LSD, approximately 23.6 kilograms (51.92 pounds) of iso-LSD, a by-product from the manufacture of LSD.
Further trial evidence established that in the history of DEA there have only been four seizures of complete LSD labs and three of these seizures involved Packard and Apperson including a lab in Mountain View, California in 1998, a lab in Oregon in 1996, and this lab in Wamego, Kansas
According to court testimony, on October 31, 2000, DEA agents conducted a search of a silo site near Wamego, Kansas, and found a LSD lab packed in storage boxes. On November 6, 2000, Pickard and Apperson were moving the illegal lab when they were stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol. Apperson was arrested driving the rental truck containing the lab. Pickard, who was driving a Buick LeSabre, fled on foot and was arrested the next day at a farm outside Wamego. Fourteen canisters of a chemical required to produce LSD valued at over $1,000,000 were found at the missile silo. According to court testimony, Pickard and Apperson previously manufactured LSD in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where every five weeks the lab produced about 2.2 pounds of LSD, approximately 10 million doses that cost less than one cent a dose to produce and would sell for as much as $10 a dose. According to court testimony, the LSD was shipped to California and later to Europe for distribution.
Pickard and Apperson each face a minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison without parole. Sentencing is scheduled for August 8, 2003 at 9:00 a. m. in Kansas. Pickard remains in federal custody and Apperson was remanded to federal custody today.
The DEA San Francisco office initiated this case and provided crucial assistance throughout the trial. SAC Delgado stated: "The investigators in this case displayed extraordinary tenacity and dedicated long hours away from home and their families. LSD, like all illegal drugs, are a threat to our children and our communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Francisco office will continue its relentless efforts to protect the Nation from the dangers posed by drug traffickers."
United States Attorney Eric Melgren stated: "This is just one example of the fine work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, in the continuing fight against illegal drugs. We are pleased to have led the effort to protect our citizens against the dangers of LSD by this significant disruption in the nationwide supply of this drug.
SAC Delgado wishes to publicly thank United States Attorney Eric Melgren for his leadership in the prosecution of this case and all the local law enforcement agencies that helped us bring this case to today's conclusion.
For additional information, please contact Special Agent Richard Meyer at the DEA San Francisco Division at 415-436-7994.
See news release on the sentencing of Pickard And Apperson>>