COLUMBIA, Mo. - Two owners of a Columbia smoke shop have been indicted on federal charges for allegedly distributing more than $2 million worth of synthetic marijuana or K2.
Kevin E. Bay, 44, and John Hawkins, 61, both owners of Bocomo Bay, were charged in a 21-count indictment by a federal grand jury.
Bay and Hawkins surrendered to federal authorities Thursday morning and were released on bond.
The federal indictment alleges that Bay and Hawkins participated in a conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana from March 2011 to Oct. 2013. The products are often labeled as "incense," but are intended for human consumption as a drug.
The indictment also alleges that Bay and Hawkins participated in a conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia from Nov. 2008 through Oct. 2013.
Bay is solely charged with participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. According to court documents, Bay conducted financial transactions that involved the proceeds of the illegal drug-trafficking conspiracy.
In addition to the conspiracies, Bay and Hawkins are charged with four counts of distributing a controlled substance analogue, one count of possessing a controlled substance analogue with the intent to distribute and five counts of distributing drug paraphernalia.
Hawkins is also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of firearms. Officials say Hawkins was in possession of a pistol and a revolver.
The indictment states Bay and Hawkins must turn over to the government more than $2 million obtained from the drug trafficking and drug paraphernalia conspiracies, along with items seized from their business and home. Those items include more than $630,000 in cash, jewelry, 76 firearms, ammunition as well as platinum, palladium, silver and gold bars.
Hawkin's children also indicted
In a separate and unrelated case, three of John Hawkins's adult children were also indicted.
Matthew A. Hawkins, 38, Patrick R. Hawkins, 31, and Molly J. (Hawkins) Carmichael, 36, were among nine defendants and four businesses charged with conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors say a significant amount of cash was seized from the businesses' bank accounts and cash from the defendants.
The other defendants and businesses are:
Kent A. Holtz of Kaiser, Mo. (owner of Straight Aces Tattoos)
Puff N Snuff, a retail business in Eldon
Mozark Products, a retail business in Jefferson City
Chadwick J. Schlicht of Osage Beach
Charles S. Austin, Jr. of St. Charles
Scott W. Hanson of Versailles
Veda K. Reeves of Versailles
Thomas L. McCormack of Jefferson City
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