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Press Release

Online Seller Of “Unwashed” Poppy Seeds Is Sentenced For Drug Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Daniel Allen Childers 34, of Asheville, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release, for a drug offense involving “unwashed” poppy seeds, said Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and court proceedings, between June 2021 and January 2023, Childers engaged in a conspiracy to distribute unwashed poppy seeds. Unwashed poppy seeds are different from commercially available poppy seeds. Consumers of unwashed poppy seeds generally steep the seeds in hot water, which produces a narcotic “tea” that contains opiates such as morphine, codeine, and thebaine.

Court records show that, in June 2021, Childers contacted a wholesale supplier of unwashed poppy seeds and became a vendor for the seeds. Childers began to sell the seeds online through a website he created for his business, “OrganaSeedSupply LLC” (OrganaSeed). OrganaSeed purported to sell baking goods supplies and services, including poppy seeds for commercial use. Contrary to the website’s claims, Childers exclusively sold unwashed poppy seeds and only listed the other products and services to appear legitimate. Court documents show that Childers obtained pallets of seeds from his supplier, each containing over 1,000 pounds of unwashed poppy seeds. In turn, Childers sold the unwashed poppy seeds online in various size bags, with one pound of seeds costing between $45 and $50. As Childers previously admitted in court documents, Childers knew that his customers would use the poppy seeds to make opiate tea and warned his customers that the seeds contained “opiate alkaloid residue.”

In July 2023, Childers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a material used to make a controlled substance.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Asheville Police Department for their investigation of the case.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.



Updated April 11, 2024

Drug Trafficking