News and Press Releases

Wichita Store Owner Charged
With Distributing Synthetic Marijuana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sept. 11, 2013

WICHITA, KAN. - The owner of a head shop in Wichita has been indicted on federal charges of distributing synthetic marijuana, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.


Brett Welch, 55, Hutchinson, Kan., owner of Mystic Planet at 2610 S. Seneca in Wichita, is charged with 13 counts of distributing a synthetic version of marijuana, which is a controlled substance. In addition he is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. The indictment alleges Welch sold synthetic marijuana to undercover buyers on April 17, April 19, April 24, April 26, May 1, May 10, May 29, June 14, July 2, July 17, July 18 and Aug. 7, 2013, in Wichita, Kan.


If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on each drug count; and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the other two counts. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS


Jose E. Piceno, 33, Newman, Calif., and Mayra J. Piceno, 33, Newman, Calif., are charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 44 counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of distribution of methamphetamine. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at various times from April 25 to Oct. 31, 2011, in Sedgwick County, Kan.


If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $500,000 on each of the drug counts, and a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million on each of the drug charges. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett is prosecuting.


Marisela Ramirez, 24, and Jorge Rodriguez-Maciel, 44, are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In addition Ramirez is charged with attempting to flush $3,880 in U.S. currency through the U.S. Marshals Service’s cellblock toilet and one count of attempting to damage property belonging to the U.S. Marshals Service. The drug conspiracy is alleged to have taken place beginning at a date unknown and continuing through June 19, 2013, in Johnson County, Kan. The other crimes are alleged to have occurred Aug. 27, 2013, in Wyandotte County.


If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million on the conspiracy charge. Ramirez faces a maximum penalty of six months and a fine up to $10,000 on the misdemeanor charge of flushing the currency and a maximum penalty of a year and a fine up to $200,000 on the misdemeanor charge of trying to government property. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett is prosecuting.


Adan Gonzalez-Bello, 31, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Aug. 28, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.


Juana Tapia-Duque, 35, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. She was found Aug. 20, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan. She was found Aug. 20, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.


If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.


Stacy L. Fisher, 40, Wichita, Kan., and Ashley C. Fisher, 30, Wichita, are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction; one count of unlawful possession of ammunition after a felony conviction; and one count of possession of a firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Feb. 28, 2013, in Wichita, Kan.


If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million on the drug charge; a maximum penalty of`10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of possession a firearm or ammunition after a felony conviction; and a penalty of not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.


Juan Ramon Castro-Izunza, 38, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien not lawfully in the United States. The crime is alleged to have occurred Aug. 23, 2013, in Wichita, Kan.


If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.


In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

 

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