Brothers Convicted In Synthetic Drug Distribution Conspiracy Sentenced To Lengthy Federal Prison Terms
Defendants Made And Distributed “Spice” To Various “Smoke Shops” And Convenience Stores
DALLAS — Two brothers who were convicted by a federal jury in Dallas in October 2014 on multiple felony offenses stemming from their operation of a dangerous, designer synthetic drug trafficking organization, were sentenced yesterday, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Barry Bays, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 425 months in federal prison, and Judge Boyle sentenced his brother, Jerad Coleman, 28, to 188 months in federal prison. In addition, Bays and Coleman were ordered to forfeit: a residence on Tillman Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana, $437,000 in funds seized by the government during the investigation, and multiple vehicles and a motorcycle. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay a personal money judgment of approximately $7.3 million, which constituted the proceeds obtained during the course of the conspiracy.
Residents of Fort Wayne, Bays and Coleman were convicted on all counts of a fourth superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in July 2014. The charges stemmed from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Project Synergy that targeted these synthetic drug trafficking organizations.
Bays and Coleman were each convicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud; and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue. In addition, Bays was also convicted on one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and one count of using a communication facility to facilitate a drug felony.
Seven other defendants charged in the case have pleaded guilty to their respective roles and have been sentenced as follows:
Samuel Madeley, 23, of Denton, Texas, 57 months
David Muise, 23, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, 36 months
Holden Bownds, 23, of Denton, Texas, 90 months
Aaron Parrish, 31, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 51 months
Jennie Miller, 41, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 12 months and one day
Brandon Zerler, 26, of Fort Wayne, Indiana 60 months
Defendant Kyle Boyer, 31, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11, 2015.
Bays owned Little Arm, Inc., that did business as B&B Distribution (B&B) in Fort Wayne and then later in Defiance, Ohio. B&B sold products marketed as “incense,” “potpourri,” “air freshener,” or “aroma therapy products,” which claimed to be “not for human consumption,” to businesses in at least 38 states. Coleman served as a corporate officer for B&B and held various positions within the business.
During the conspiracy, Bays, Coleman and others conspired together to defraud the FDA by introducing or delivering an adulterated or misbranded drug into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead. As part of the conspiracy, Bays, Coleman and others possessed, packaged, labeled, marketed, distributed and sold substances containing various synthetic cannabinoids throughout the U.S. Synthetic cannabinoids are defined as “drugs” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
After acquiring the synthetic cannabinoids, Bays and B&B had them mixed with a green leafy (smokable) plant material to create a product commonly referred to as “spice.” That substance was then packaged and labeled with brand names such as “B2 Da Bomb,” “V8,” “Roses,” and “Street Legal.” The products were then sold to customers throughout the U.S. as “incense,” “potpourri,” “air freshener,” or “aroma therapy products,” and “not for human consumption,” when in fact, they were intended for human consumption as a drug.
Bays had contracted with Muise for Muise to create multiple YouTube videos, reviewing Bays’ “spice” products. Muise’s reviews documented the intended use of Bays’ products as drugs.
Madeley and Bownds collaborated and collectively brokered the sale of Scheduled I controlled substance analogues. They solicited customers via the internet and knew the chemicals they were brokering were being used to produce “spice” intended for human consumption. Madeley and Bownds made multiple sales to Bays and B&B, where he made his own brands of synthetic “spice” and distributed it to various “smoke shops” and convenience stores throughout the U.S.
The DEA led the investigation with assistance from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Indiana State Police, and the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Poe and Brandon McCarthy prosecuted.