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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Springfield Man Sentenced for K2 Conspiracy

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the owner of two stores in Springfield, Mo., and Joplin, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy that involved the distribution of more than $1.6 million in synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2.

 

Donald P. Parrett, 43, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to five years in federal prison without parole.

 

Parrett owned Head Kase stores in Springfield and Joplin. Parrett oversaw and managed the wholesale and retail distribution of synthetic cannabinoids from Head Kase. Co-defendants Clyde Hicks, 53, of Aurora, Mo., and Lola Hall, 44, Ozark, Mo., were employees of Head Kase and worked as sales clerks. They were sentenced to probation in separate court appearances today.

 

Parrett, Hicks and Hall each pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud. They admitted that they conspired to defraud the Food and Drug Administration and the general public by selling synthetic cannabinoids under false representations that the products were “incense” or “potpourri” and “not for human consumption,” when in fact these substances contained synthetic cannabinoids and were intended for human consumption as a drug.

 

Parrett attempted to conceal his drug distribution by marketing the synthetic cannabinoids as “incense” that was “not intended for human consumption.” Nevertheless, he obtained private laboratory reports which purported to show that the substances for sale did not contain controlled substances. These steps attempted to create a legal fiction that buyers of the synthetic cannabinoids could obtain a “legal” high, since the substances were not sold for human consumption and were purported not to contain controlled substances.

 

Between November 2010 and July 2012, Parrett’s business generated at least $1,654,410 from the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. Parrett paid at least $570,439 to at least nine separate distributors for his supply of synthetic cannabinoids.

 

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated May 27, 2015