Eight individuals and four businesses have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute K2, also known as synthetic marijuana.
Puff N Stuff, a retail business in Eldon, was one of the four businesses charged along with Dynamic Scents, LLC, and Order Refill, LLC, and Mozark Products, LLC, in Jefferson City.
Matthew Ashby Hawkins, 38, his brother, Patrick Ross Hawkins, 31, and his sister, Molly Jane Carmichael, 36, all of Columbia, Mo., Alexander Vladimir McMillin, 29, of Columbia, Mo., Kent Allen Holtz, 42, of Kaiser, Chadwick James Schlicht, 43, of Osage Beach, Charles Sterling Austin, Jr., 61, of St. Charles, Mo., Scott Wesley Hanson, 47, of Versailles, and Thomas Lee McCormack, 28, of Jefferson City, were charged along with the four businesses in a six-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City on Oct. 2, 2013.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana between Dec. 7, 2011, and Oct. 2, 2013. The indictment was unsealed on Oct. 10, 2013, upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.
K2 is a mixture of plant material that has been sprayed or mixed with a synthetic chemical compound similar to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. K2 products are often labeled as "incense" but in reality are intended for human consumption as a drug.
The indictment also charges McMillin, Matthew Hawkins, Patrick Hawkins, Carmichael, Austin, Dynamic Scents, Order Refill, Puff N Snuff and Mozark Products with participating in a money-laundering conspiracy from Dec. 7, 2011, to Oct. 2, 2013. According to the indictment, they conspired to engage in financial transactions that involved the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
In addition to the two conspiracies, the indictment charges McMillin with one count of distributing a controlled substance analogue and one count of possessing a controlled substance analogue with the intent to distribute. Hanson and McCormack are also each charged with one count of possessing a controlled substance analogue with the intent to distribute.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged conspiracies, or used to facilitate the alleged conspiracies, including $423,327 seized from Puff N Suff's bank account, $177,398 seized from Order Refill's bank account, $14,215 seized from Mozark Products' bank account, $82,149 seized from McMillin, $55,175 seized from Hanson and a 2004 Hummer H2 seized from Hanson.
Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Berry, and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the MUSTANG Task Force, the LANEG Drug Task Force, the Cole County Sheriff's Department, the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, the Camden County Sheriff's Department and the Camdenton Police Department.