65 / 42
      43 / 36
      44 / 34

      US attorneys announce more synthetic pot charges

      Three Columbia siblings and 6 other people were busted for selling K2 incense or synthetic marijuana.

      Update: October 18, 2013, 4:55 p.m.

      Federal prosecutors today filed charges against 9 people and 4 Mid-Missouri businesses for selling synthetic drugs.

      This comes one day after the owners of a Columbia smoke shop were also indicted on similar charges.

      Investigators accuse them of selling products that are often labeled as incense but are actually used by smokers as a substitute for pot.

      Three Columbia siblings and 6 other people were busted for selling K2 incense or synthetic marijuana. Matthew and Patrick Hawkins, their sister Molly Carmichael and 6 others were charged in a 6-count federal indictment.

      The siblings are the children of John Hawkins who is the co-owner of Columbiaâ??s Bocomo Bay smoke shop. John Hawkins and his partner Kevin Bay were charged in a separate 21-count indictment yesterday for allegedly selling more than $2 million worth of synthetic marijuana. Todayâ??s indictment accuses several suspects and businesses of selling synthetic marijuana between December 2011 and October 2 of this year.

      Besides members of the Hawkins family, the suspects from todayâ??s indictment include Alexander McMillin of Columbia, Chadwick Schlicht of Osage Beach, Scott Hanson of Versailles and Thomas McCormick of Jefferson City. The accused businesses are Columbiaâ??s Dynamic Scents and Order Refill, Eldonâ??s Puff N Stuff and Jefferson Cityâ??s Mozark Products.

      Federal prosecutors plan to present their evidence in federal court for the suspects in 2 indictments. No date has been set for those 2 jury trials.

      Federal prosecutors seized total more than $700,000 from bank accounts that were allegedly used for selling synthetic drugs.

      Original Story:

      Federal prosecutors have announced a broader crackdown on central Missouri businesses that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

      The U.S. attorney's office said Friday that four businesses and nine people were indicted earlier this month on charges of conspiring to distribute products that often are labeled as "incense" but actually are intended to be used as a marijuana equivalent.

      The indictments were not announced until Friday because of the previous partial federal government shutdown.

      Three of the people named in the newly publicized indictment are the adult children of a Columbia man who U.S. attorneys announced on Thursday had also been indicted in a $2 million synthetic marijuana scheme.

      Two of the businesses in the indictment are located in Columbia, with one each in Jefferson City and Eldon.

      The Associated Press contributed to this story.