News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2003

Operations Pipe Dreams And Headhunter Put Illegal Drug Paraphernalia Sellers Out Of Business
National Sweep Shuts Down Retailers, Distributors and Internet Sites

Attorney General John Ashcroft at Operation Pipe Dreams news conference. Appearing from left to right: Acting DEA Administrator John B. Brown, ONDCP Director John Walters, and U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.
Attorney General John Ashcroft at Operation Pipe Dreams news conference. Appearing from left to right: Acting DEA Administrator John B. Brown, ONDCP Director John Walters, and U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Attorney General John Ashcroft and Acting DEA Administrator John B. Brown, III today announced the indictment of 50 individuals on charges of trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. The charges are the culmination of two nationwide investigations code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter and include indictments against national distributors of drug paraphernalia and businesses nationwide. DEA offices in Boise, Idaho; Des Moines, Iowa; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dallas and Tyler, Texas were involved in these investigations.

"With the advent of the Internet, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has exploded," Ashcroft said. "The drug paraphernalia business is now accessible in anyone's home with a computer and Internet access. And in homes across America we know that children and young adults are the fastest growing Internet users. Quite simply, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has invaded the homes of families across the country without their knowledge. This illegal billion-dollar industry will no longer be ignored by law enforcement. Today, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, under the leadership of Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and Associate Deputy Attorney General Karen Tandy, has taken decisive steps to dismantle the illegal drug paraphernalia industry by attacking their physical, financial and Internet infrastructures."

Felt tip marker with internal drug pipeThe defendants have been charged with conspiracy to sell and offering to sell various types of drug paraphernalia, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sections 846, 853 and 863. Federal law defines drug paraphernalia as those products that are primarily intended or designed to be used in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise using controlled substances, and include user-friendly and dealer-friendly devices. Items such as miniature scales, substances for "cutting" or diluting raw narcotics, bongs, marijuana pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons and cocaine freebase kits, among other things, are all considered drug paraphernalia.

All the defendants knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully sold the items for use with illegal narcotics. Many of the items were disguised as common objects such as hi-liters and lipsticks to elude detection as drug paraphernalia and were marketed using code names and symbols.

Gas mask converted to drug pipe"People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers," said Acting Administrator Brown. "They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide. These criminals operate a multimillion dollar enterprise, selling their paraphernalia in headshops, distributing out of huge warehouses, and using the worldwide web as a worldwide paraphernalia market. With Operations Pipe Dreams and Headhunter, these criminals are out of business and 11 illicit dot.coms are dot.gone."

"Each of us standing here today took an oath of office to uphold and enforce our nation's laws," said John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy. "The aggressive marketing of the tools and paraphernalia of drug use is illegal and has been an active affront to the efforts of parents, educators, and community leaders who are trying to help young people stay away from dangerous drugs. Today's actions send a clear and unambiguous message to those who would poison our children: We will bring you to justice, and we will act decisively to protect our young people from the harms of illegal drugs. I applaud the hard work of the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorneys, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, who have provided an important and welcome boost to our drug prevention efforts, and reaffirm the truth that no community, no city, no state, and no nation is better off with more drug use."

Federal law provides for a maximum total sentence of three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, with respect to each count set forth in the indictments.

OPERATION PIPE DREAMS

The investigation leading to the indictments in this case was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Immigration and

Naturalization Service, Pennsylvania State Police, City of Pittsburgh Police, Allegheny County (Pa.) Sheriff, Stowe Township Police, Chippewa (Pa.) Police Department and the Duquesne (Pa.) Police Department.

The individuals named in the indictments are:

  • Joyce J. Adamy, a/k/a Joyce J. Kunkle, and d/b/a Phantasm, age 27, of Johnstown, PA.;

  • Jodey P. Bayle, d/b/a Pipe Emporium, d/b/a Sunrise Distribution, and d/b/a Pipesforyou.com, 48, of Erie, PA.;

  • Glen W. Beers, d/b/a G.W. Pipedreams, 29, of Clarion, PA.;

  • William A. Conover, d/b/a B&M Variety, 42, of Erie, PA.;

  • Christina A. Cummings, d/b/a Phantasm, 28, of Johnstown, PA.;

  • Michael Anthony Deblasio, d/b/a Heads-N-Threads, 24, of North Huntingdon, PA.;

  • Jason Robert Harris, d/b/a Jerome Baker Designs, Inc., d/b/a Ghettoweb, Inc., d/b/a Universal Glass, Inc., d/b/a Jeromebaker.com, d/b/a Ghettoweb.com, d/b/a Smokelab.com, and d/b/a Higher Source, 32, of Eugene, OR.;

  • Richard Kevin Jaussen, d/b/a Tela Ropa, Inc., 48, of Pittsburgh, PA.;

  • Ara Melkizian, d/b/a Omnilounge L.L.C., and d/b/a Omnilounge.com, 29, of North Hollywood, CA.

  • Saeed Mohtadi, d/b/a Jerome Baker Designs, Inc., d/b/a Ghettoweb, Inc., d/b/a Universal Glass, Inc., d/b/a Jeromebaker.com, d/b/a Ghettoweb.com, d/b/a Smokelab.com, and d/b/a Higher Source, 32, of Eugene, OR.;

  • John Matthew Patrick, d/b/a California Colorchangers, Inc., and d/b/a Colorchangingglass.com, 38, of Forestville, CA.;

  • Randolph Przekop, d/b/a Slacker, Inc., 36, of Pittsburgh, PA.;

  • Ahmad Rakine, d/b/a A&E Wholesalers, Inc., 20, of Pembroke Pines, FL.;

  • Eric M. Rodgers, d/b/a Stone Artworx, Inc., 32, of Phoenix, AZ.;

  • Edward Ian Rothschild, d/b/a Edward Rothschild Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a Rothschild Consulting, Inc., d/b/a Gothic Dungeon, d/b/a 420now.com, d/b/a 420smile.com, d/b/a Gothicdungeon.com, d/b/a Testingfree.com, and d/b/a Themallusa.com, 48, of Columbia, SC;

  • David V. Stone, d/b/a Stone Artworx, Inc., 38, of Phoenix, AZ.;

  • Mary Louise Stone, d/b/a Stone Artworx, Inc., 58, of Glendale, AZ.;

  • Ryan Vaughn Struble, d/b/a Headcase, and d/b/a Aheadcase.com, 30, of
    Diamond Bar, CA;

  • Ryan Teurfs, d/b/a 101 North Glass, Inc., d/b/a The Glass House, and d/b/a 101north.net, 29, of Arcata, CA.;

  • Inez M. Thompson, d/b/a Pipe Emporium, d/b/a Sunrise Distribution, and d/b/a Pipesforyou.com, 48, of Erie, PA.;

  • Jason Vrbas, d/b/a 101 North Glass, Inc., d/b/a The Glass House, and d/b/a 101north.net, 29, of Arcata, CA.;

  • John Lee Walker, a/k/a John Lee Walker, Jr., d/b/a Headcase, and d/b/a Aheadcase.com, 35, of Riverside, CA.;

  • Gabriel Watson, d/b/a 101 North Glass, Inc., d/b/a The Glass House, and d/b/a 101north.net, 29, of Arcata, CA.;

  • Anthony Yanow, d/b/a Hot Comet Enterprises, d/b/a Puff Pipes, d/b/a Atmospheres Lifestyles of LA, and d/b/a Puffpipes.com, 31, of Los Angeles, CA;

  • Waleed A. Zahrieh, d/b/a Wicked Corp. and d/b/a Sands of Time, 37, of Los Gatos, CA.;

  • Nessar David Zahriya, d/b/a Wicked Corp. and d/b/a Sands of Time, 39, of San Mateo, CA.; and

  • Tracie Lynn Zimmerman, d/b/a Heads-N-Threads, 34, of North Huntingdon, PA.

National Distributors

Named in the indictments announced today are 17 individuals who operated 10 national distribution companies of drug paraphernalia.

The following persons operated six businesses based in California:

  • Melkizian operated Omnilounge L.L.C. which also did business over the internet as omnilounge.com.

  • Patrick was charged as the operator of California Colorchangers, which did business as colorchangingglass.com.

  • Teurfs, Vrbas and Watson operated another internet company named 101north.net, which also did business as 101 North Glass and The Glass House.

  • Yanow has been indicted for running puffpipes.com, which also did business as Hot Comet Enterprises and Atmospheres Lifestyles of L.A.

  • Struble and Walker were charged with operating aheadcase.com, also known as Headcase.

  • Zahriya and Zahrieh were indicted in conjunction with their operation of the Sands of Time and its successor business, Wicked Corporation.

    The individuals who ran the four other national operations charged were:

  • Rothschild did business under all of the names listed above, and Gothic Dungeon in Columbia, SC;

  • Rakine operated A&E Wholesalers in Pembroke Pines, FL.;

  • C Stone, Stone and Rodgers ran Stone Artworx in Phoenix, AZ.; and

  • Harris and Mohtadi owned Jerome Baker Designs and the other companies in
    Eugene, OR.

    Regional Retail Shops

    Ten individuals who sold drug paraphernalia in retail shops in the Western District of Pennsylvania also face charges of conspiracy, offering for sale, and selling drug paraphernalia. The defendants in Pennsylvania are:

  • Beers, G.W. Pipedreams, Clarion
  • Conover, B&M Variety, Erie
  • Jaussen, Tela Ropa, Pittsburgh
  • Thompson and Bayle, Pipe Emporium, Sunrise Distribution and pipesforyou.com, Erie
  • Zimmerman and Deblasio, Heads-N-Threads, North Huntingdon
  • Adamy and Cummings, Phantasm, Johnstown
  • Przekop, Slacker, Inc., Pittsburgh

    OPERATION HEADHUNTER

    The DEA resident office in Des Moines, Iowa, initiated an investigation into the sale and distribution of drug paraphernalia at headshops in Southern Iowa in January 2000. Federal search warrants executed at four such businesses in Iowa resulted in the seizure of more than $2 million in drug paraphernalia. The searches also implicated various national distributors, including four companies indicted today.

    The investigation leading to the indictments in this case was led by the DEA, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Polk County (Iowa) Sheriff's Office and the Des Moines (Iowa) Police Department.

    The individuals named in the four indictments brought in the Southern District of Iowa, announced today, include:

  • Alan Bruce Clute, a/k/a Bruce Clute, and Lawrence Charles Bowman, d/b/a Smoky Mountain Trading Co, d/b/a Dream Factory Boutique and d/b/a Strange Daze Boutique, Detroit.

  • Jose Corona Zavala, Jr., Juan Luis Zavala and Clinton Lee Goodson, d/b/a The Other Side, d/b/a The Crush, d/b/a The Worx, d/b/a The Bomb, d/b/a Toys in the Attic and d/b/a Artistic Alchemy Manufacturing, Sacramento and North Hollywood, Calif.

  • Amanda Claire Ballard, a/k/a Amanda Claire Irwin, a/k/a Mandi Claire Ballard, a/k/a Mandi Claire Irwin and Allison Blakely Ballard, d/b/a Acme Distributing and Mfg., d/b/a Acme Distributing, d/b/a Smoke Stax and d/b/a A & M Gifts, Houston.

  • Catherine Nicole Adamson and Bruce Dean Ross d/b/a Grow Industries, d/b/a Zong Toy Company, d/b/a Zong Industries, d/b/a ZTC, d/b/a Seedless and d/b/a Seedless Clothing Company Shea Artis McComb, San Diego, Calif.

    For additional information on Operations Pipe Dreams and Headhunter, please call the DEA Office of Public Affairs at 202-307-7979 or visit the DEA website at www.dea.gov.

    ###

  • Home USDOJ.GOV Privacy Policy Contact Us Site Map