Versailles Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Selling Synthetic Marijuana
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Versailles, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to selling $750,000 worth of synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as K2, at his store in Laurie, Mo.
Scott Wesley Hanson, 49, of Versailles, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to participating in a conspiracy to introduce, receive, deliver and sell misbranded drugs across state lines and in foreign commerce.
Co-defendants Sharon Elizabeth Harrington, 27, of Bunceton, Mo., and Chadwick James Schlicht, 44, of Osage Beach, Mo., pleaded guilty on Monday, March 30, 2015.
Conspirators imported chemicals from other countries (including China), which carried misleading labeling in order to avoid detection by law enforcement officers. Those chemicals were used to create synthetic marijuana, which was packaged for sale in foil packets that bore the label “not for human consumption,” in an attempt to thwart drug-trafficking laws. The synthetic marijuana, which was falsely referred to as “incense” and “potpourri,” was shipped and sold throughout Missouri and the United States – including to Vedas, a business at 101 N. Main Street in Laurie, Mo., owned and operated by Hanson.
On June 4, 2012, a Morgan County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy, acting in an undercover capacity, entered Veda’s and asked Hanson for something that would not cause him to test positive for an illegal substance as he was on probation and did not want to jeopardize that. Hanson sold a package of “Mr. Happy” to the undercover deputy. The package, which contained synthetic marijuana, was mislabeled and did not contain directions for use.
Based upon the invoices, bank records, and products seized by law enforcement, Hanson purchased approximately $375,000 of synthetic cannabinoid products, which he then sold through his business for approximately $750,000. Hanson admitted that he sold, in aggregate, multiple kilogram quantities of synthetic marijuana products.
Under federal statutes, Hanson is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart J. Zander. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the MUSTANG Task Force, the LANEG Drug Task Force, the Cole County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Morgan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Camden County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Camdenton, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Kirksville, Mo., Police Department, the North Missouri Drug Task Force, the Schuyler County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Edina, Mo., Police Department, the Linn County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Brookfield, Mo., Police Department.