Ten Individuals Indicted in Drug Paraphernalia and Synthetic Drug Conspiracy
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that John Ways, Jr., Christian Firoz, Alan Davis and Mark Cooney, all of Lincoln, Nebraska; Frank Firoz and Michael Blackstone, both of South Sioux City, Iowa; and Constance Hagelstein, David Roberts, Joshua Wellborn and Ronda Decamp, all of Omaha, Nebraska, were indicted in a three-count indictment stemming from a synthetic drug conspiracy and a drug paraphernalia conspiracy operated through numerous Exotica store locations in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs and South Sioux City, Iowa. John Ways Jr. is also charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of ammunition.
Ways, Davis, Blackstone, Roberts and Wellborn were arrested on December 21, 2012. Synthetic ecstasy, synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized or purchased during the course of the investigation. In addition, 800 rounds of ammunition and over $1,000,000 were seized from the Exotica locations and bank accounts, and some defendants’ residences.
The maximum penalty upon conviction of a synthetic drug conspiracy is 20 years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and not less than a 3 year term of supervised release. The maximum penalty upon conviction of a drug paraphernalia conspiracy is 3 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a one year term of supervised release. The maximum penalty upon conviction of a felon in possession is up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not less than a 3 year term of supervised release. The initial appearances for the five individuals are scheduled for December 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. A. Gossett, III.
This investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Omaha Police Department, Lincoln Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges. It will be the Government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.