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united states reaches settlement with natural supplement stores for violations of the controlled substances act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2014

 

DENVER -- John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, today announced that two natural supplement stores in Colorado Springs have entered into a civil settlement with the United States and will pay $20,000 in civil penalties to resolve allegations that they violated certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (“the CSA”) related to the sale of ephedrine, a List 1 chemical.  List 1 chemicals have legitimate purposes, but can also be used in the manufacture of controlled substances.

Ephedrine is a decongestant and bronchodilator.  It works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages and widening in the lung airways, allowing the user to breathe more easily.  It can also be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The United States alleged that between 2009 and the present, Andrew S. Holmes, as the owner and operator of Crazy Horse Nutrition, Inc. (“Crazy Horse”) and Holmestyle Nutrition LLC d.b.a. Complete Nutrition Center (“Holmestyle”), violated various provisions of the Controlled Substances Act related to the sale of ephedrine.  The United States contends, among other allegations, that Holmes, Crazy Horse, and Holmestyle: sold ephedrine to customers after failing to complete periodic training and self-certifying to the DEA that the manager and all employees were following the applicable rules to sell the substance; failed to comply with the CSA’s packaging requirements for the sale of ephedrine; failed to maintain complete and accurate logbook records regarding ephedrine sales; sold ephedrine on at least one occasion to a customer without proper identification; and imported ephedrine from Canada without a registration.

“Although Ephedrine has legitimate uses, its sale is closely regulated because it can also be used to create illegal dangerous drugs – drugs that can seriously damage people’s lives,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

“This action is unique in the District of Colorado and is important in that it shows the retailers will be held accountable in combating the methamphetamine epidemic in our communities,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach.

In entering into a civil settlement, Holmes, Crazy Horse and Complete Nutrition did not admit to liability, and the agreement indicates that the parties entered into the settlement to avoid the uncertainty and expense of further litigation. 

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Rocque and Special Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Mussetter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, Colorado. 

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