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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nebraska

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Man Found Guilty Of Drug Paraphernalia Conspiracy

United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that John Ways, Jr., 48, of Omaha, Nebraska, was found guilty of Conspiracy to Sell and Offer for Sale Drug Paraphernalia, Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, and being a Felon in Possession of Ammunition, following a 13-day jury trial.

The evidence presented at the trial showed Ways, from approximately February 2010 to December 2012, operated head shops in Nebraska and Iowa called Exotica.  The stores sold, among other things, drug paraphernalia and certain controlled substances which the witnesses referred to as bath salts, herbal incense, K2, and aromatherapy. 

The evidence in support of the money laundering conspiracy showed that Ways laundered the proceeds from the sales of these items by conducting financial transactions at various banks and credit unions in the Omaha area.

The evidence in support of the felon in possession of ammunition count showed that Ways, a previously convicted felon, possessed 800 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition at one of his two residences. 

The jury also returned a Special Verdict forfeiting to the United States approximately $1,125,000.00 of funds, various items of drug paraphernalia, ammunition, gun safes, two vehicles, several computers and related equipment and Ways’ corporation, NKOSI, Inc.

Ways faces a combined possible maximum sentence, on all four counts, of 55 years in prison.  Ways’ sentencing is scheduled for November 20, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Omaha Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Lincoln Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Council Bluffs Police Department, South Sioux City Police Department, University of Nebraska at Lincoln Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Updated January 29, 2015