Charlottesville Jury Convicts Man Who Shipped Drugs from China, Laundered Money
Jury Also Convicts Two on Conspiracy Charge
Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – After three weeks of trial, a jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville convicted three individuals for conspiring to distribute controlled substance analogues and controlled substances from 2011 to 2015, including an American man who lived in China and shipped large amounts of the drugs from that country into the United States, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
The jury convicted Jason Bradley, 39, of Chicago, Illinois, of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues; one count of conspiracy to import drugs; one count money laundering conspiracy; and one count of international money laundering conspiracy. Nayna Taylor, 56, and Edward Taylor, both of Charlotte, North Carolina, were also each convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substance analogues and controlled substances.
According to evidence presented to the jury over the course of the trial by Assistant United States Attorney Grayson A. Hoffman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro, which included drugs that had been seized in Hong Kong and the United States, wiretap recordings, over one hundred emails, international shipping records, and bank records, Bradley lived for a time in China and bought drugs there commonly known as MDPV and a-PVP, from chemical production companies in China. Bradley purchased the drugs with the purpose of shipping them back to the United States to his wife’s cousin, Dave Scholz, who lived in the Chicago area. In order to hide the drugs during shipping from customs officers in China, Hong Kong, and the United States, Bradley smuggled the drugs inside products such as cosmetic fingernail drying lamps, children’s toys, rice cookers, and zipper pouches.
Evidence at trial showed Bradley conspired with others in the United States to ship the drugs to the United States from China for redistribution to drug users throughout the country. Once in the United States, members of a company called “Modern Day Prophet” removed the drugs from the products Bradley had hid them in, placed the drugs into thousands of smaller packets created by Bradley’s co-conspirators falsely labeled as “Hookah Cleaner” and sold the small drug packages in bulk to head shops, gas stations, and other similar businesses for resale to drug users all over the country, including in Virginia, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oregon. at trial revealed that Bradley’s drug trafficking organization had been a source of drugs for some of the drug dealers arrested in Operation Log Jam, a 2012 nationwide federal crackdown on synthetic drug dealers.
A police surveillance video introduced as evidence during the trial showed Nanya and Edward Taylor making a sale of 200 packages of drugs to an undercover police officer and police informant at one such business in Burlington, North Carolina. The evidence at trial showed that the drugs Nanya and Edward Taylor sold during the police sting had originated from Jason Bradley in China and had been trafficked to the Taylors through Bradley’s co-conspirators at Modern Day Prophet.
Throughout the life of the conspiracy, Bradley shipped well over 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of drugs to his co-conspirators in the United States for distribution to drug users throughout the country. The evidence at trial showed that for each kilo of MDPV Bradley sold, he profited approximately $1,250, and for each kilo of A-PVP, Bradley profited approximately $850.
Five other individuals who played a role in the drug trafficking operation, including Jason Bradley’s wife, Deborah Ryba, pled guilty for their roles in the drug trafficking scheme, and testified during the trial against Bradley and the Taylors. Co-conspirators Robert Schroeder, Ryan Buchanan, Nicholas Purintun, and Brian Lister were members of Modern Day Profit, and helped redistribute the drugs throughout the United States.
Ryba, Bradley’s wife, lived with Bradley in China and Thailand, and helped Bradley obtain the drugs, package the drugs for shipment to the United States, and introduced Bradley to her cousin, Dave Scholz, another member of Modern Day Prophet. Scholz died in 2015, before the remaining conspirators were arrested and charged.
Schroeder and Buchanan helped start Modern Day Prophet in 2011 and distributed the drugs from China across the United States. Lister and Purintun were salesmen for Modern Day Prophet and sold the drugs to the individual headshops and other businesses for sale to the end drug users.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Virginia State Police, the RUSH Drug Task Force, Michigan State Police, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and the Burlington Police Department in North Carolina, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Hong Kong Customs. Assistant United States Attorney Grayson A. Hoffman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro prosecuted the case for the United States.