Boise Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy In Treasure Valley “Spice” Case
Defendants Charged with Multiple Counts of Conspiring to Distribute “Spice,” Money Laundering, Smuggling
BOISE – Troy Palmer, 43, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to count four of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to launder money, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Sentencing is set for May 5, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Palmer admitted in court that beginning in March 2011, he knowingly entered into a conspiracy with Mark Ciccarello, William Mabry, and Robert Eoff to conduct financial transactions in connection with a “spice” manufacturing and distribution business. Palmer also admitted to knowingly participating and assisting in the financial activity of the business by engaging in financial transactions through both domestic and foreign financial institutions. The transactions consisted of the proceeds of prior illegal spice sales and other specified unlawful activity. In many cases, the transactions conducted through financial institutions separately consisted of criminally derived property valued at more than $10,000; most of the transactions occurred in Idaho, Washington and California.
Eoff, Mabry and Ciccarello previously entered guilty pleas to the same charge. Judge Lodge will sentence Eoff on March 11, 2014, and Mabry and Ciccarello on March 25.
The charge of conspiracy to launder money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, and up to three years of supervised release.
Palmer and his three co-defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on May 14, 2013, on charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue; conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States; conspiracy to sell and transport drug paraphernalia; and conspiracy to launder money. The indictment alleged that between March 1, 2011 and July 9, 2012, in Idaho, Alaska, California, Washington, and Wisconsin, the defendants conspired to purchase and import from China chemicals known as AM2201, UR-144, and XLR11, which they used to treat innocuous plant matter to make “spice”—a synthetic cannabinoid similar to substances listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The indictment further alleged that one or more of the defendants conspired to sell and transport drug paraphernalia for sale, and that they conspired to launder money illegally obtained through their drug, importation and paraphernalia violations. The government is seeking forfeiture of proceeds derived from the alleged criminal activities.
The case is the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Boise Police Department, Meridian Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and Nampa Police Department. Other federal agencies participating in the OCEDTF program include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Marshals Service.
The OCDETF program is a federal, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.