News and Press Releases

west plains man pleads guilty to distributing k2

July 31, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a West Plains, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as K2, while employed at The Man Cave in Springfield, Mo.

Kent C. Work, 54, of West Plains, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to a federal information that charges him with two counts of distributing a controlled substance analogue.

Work admitted that, while working at The Man Cave, he sold synthetic marijuana to an undercover Springfield police officer on several occasions.

By pleading guilty to the first count, Work admitted that he sold synthetic marijuana to an undercover officer on April 2, 2013. When the officer asked for “Scarface,” Work walked to the cash register, leaned under the counter, and looked through a box. Work stated they only had “Baby Face” in a green or strawberry color. The undercover officer asked for the strawberry. Work produced a bag of “Baby Face,” which the undercover officer purchased for $35.

The packaging included the words, “100% DEA Approved, Not for Human Consumption.” Work did not ring the transaction through the cash register and did not charge sales tax.

By pleading guilty to the second count, Work admitted that he sold synthetic marijuana to an undercover Springfield police officer on April 10, 2013. The undercover officer asked Work for “Scarface.” Work walked to the cash register and pulled out several packages of synthetic marijuana and said that he had “Baby Face,” “608 Triple Cherry,” “Scarface” and “Reload Plain.” The undercover officer asked to purchase the “Scarface” and the “Reload Plain” and handed Work $50.

The “Scarface” packaging included the words, “100% DEA Approved.” The “Reload Plain” packaging included the words, “Not Meant for Human Consumption, For Display Purposes Only” and “Does not contain any Federally Forbidden Ingredients.” No receipt was issued and the purchase was not taxed.

In addition to the criminal conduct for which he was charged, Work also admitted that he again sold synthetic marijuana to an undercover police officer on April 24 and May 8, 2013. Work was also observed selling these substances to other customers of The Man Cave. Those additional actions are considered relevant conduct and may be considered by the court when determining an appropriate sentence. Work sold a total of 17 grams of synthetic marijuana.

Under federal statutes, Work is subject to a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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