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Press Release

Bristol Man Indicted For Distributing Synthetic Drugs And Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A federal grand jury in Greeneville returned an indictment on Jan. 14, 2014 against Daniel Guy Bickley, 55, of Bristol, Va., for conspiracy to distribute and the distribution of controlled substance analogues as well as conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions in criminally derived property and engaging in such transactions.

Bickley appeared in court on Feb. 6, 2014 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis H. Inman and pleaded not guilty. He was released pending trial, which has been set for Apr. 15, 2014, in U.S. District Court, in Greeneville.

According to the indictment on file with the U.S. District Court, Bickley began selling synthetic stimulants (“bath salts”) and synthetic cannabinoids (“spice” or “incense”) in 2010 from his business Exotic Illusions in Bristol, Virginia. When the Commonwealth of Virginia enacted legislation prohibiting certain synthetic drugs in March 2011, Bickley opened a business in Bristol, Tennessee called Cloud 9 Emporium from which he sold synthetic drugs. The indictment alleges Bickley obtained synthetic drugs from distributors in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, and elsewhere and that Bickley stated he was making $10,000 a day from the sale of synthetic drugs. Bickley opened a second store, also called Cloud 9 Emporium, in Johnson City, Tenn., in October 2011 and opened a third location in December 2011 in Mountain City, Tenn. The indictment also alleges that Bickley and others opened a business in August 2011 in Kingsport, Tenn., called White Cloud Emporium for the purpose of selling synthetic drugs.

The indictment further alleges that Bickley conspired with others to engage in monetary transactions involving the proceeds of the drugs sales and charges fifty-one separate transactions involving $10,000 or more in cash totaling approximately $1.2 million.

If convicted, Bickley faces a term of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million on each of the drug charges and up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each of the money laundering charges.

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Bristol, Tennessee Police Department, Bristol, Virginia Police Department, Johnson City Police Department, and Second Judicial District Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 18, 2015