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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Zenbio Bookeeper Pleads Guilty To Fraud Related To The Sale Of Synthetic Drugs

United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Crystal Hope Henry, a resident of Pensacola, Florida, entered a guilty plea today before Chief United States District Court Judge William Steele to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering with the lawful governmental regulatory and enforcement functions of the FDA and DEA.

Henry and her co-conspirators manufactured and distributed at least 20 tons of products containing the chemical compound XLR11.  They referred to the products as potpourri and marketed them under names such as “Bizarro,” “Sonic Zero,” “Neutronium,” and “Orgazmo.”  The products were misbranded smokable synthetic cannabinoids which were distributed for human consumption.  The products were packaged and sold without the labeling required by law and necessary to protect the user such as: the place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; an accurate statement of the contents; adequate directions for use; warnings where its use may be dangerous to health; or warning against unsafe dosage.  The products were labeled, “Not for Human Consumption.”

The company Henry worked for operated a call center in Robertsdale, Alabama and from December 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013 took in over $29, 656,917.98.

“The use of synthetic or designer drugs has a devastating impact on our communities.  Although synthetic cannabinoids are many times marketed as ‘legal’ marijuana, they are not only illegal are extremely harmful,” U.S. Attorney Brown said. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to shut down the manufacturers and distributors who reap profits without regard for the law or public safety.”

Henry faces a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Monies seized from her in June of 20913 have also been administratively forfeited.

The matter was investigated by the Mobile Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the Mobile Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations; with assistance from the Food and Drug Administration Office of Chief Counsel; the San Francisco and Chicago Field Divisions of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Oakland, California Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation; and the San Francisco Field Office of HSI, and was prosecuted by AUSA Deborah Griffin.

Updated January 26, 2015