The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

December 14, 2012

Feds indict 21 Southwest Missouri residents on charges related to synthetic drugs

Twenty-one people with ties to Southwest Missouri have been indicted by a federal grand jury for distributing millions of dollars worth of a synthetic drug known as K2. The indictments were unsealed Friday. Those 21 people are involved in the ownership and operation of 13 retail businesses, including shops in Joplin and Webb City.

The indictments are the result of an investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies into the distribution of K2, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Among those indicted are Austin B. Nail, 24, and DeWayne T. Barnhart, 35, both of Joplin, who are charged with participating in conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Nail was identifed by federal authorities as the manager of the Mr. Nice Guy store in Joplin and Barnhart as the manager of the Mr. Nice Guy store in Webb City.

Jeremy Elliott, 40, or Rogers, Ark., and Nail are charged together in two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Elliott is listed as the owner of the Webb City and Joplin stores.

He and Barnhart also are charged together in one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Elliott and Barnhart are also charged together in two counts of maintaining a place for the purpose of storing and distributing a controlled substance, referring to the Mr. Nice Guy stores in Joplin and Webb City.

Also indicted were Donald P. Parrett, 40, of Springfield; Clyde Hicks, 50, of Aurora; and Lola Hall, 41, address unknown. Parrett and Hicks own and operate DC Wholesale. Parrett owns the Head Kase stores in Springfield and Joplin. Hicks and Hall manage and assist in the store operations.

Parrett, Hicks and Hall were charged together in one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

In addition to the conspiracy, Parrett and Hall are charged together in one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Parrett and Hicks are also charged together in two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Parrett and Hicks are also charged together in one count of maintaining a place for the purpose of storing and distributing a controlled substance at the Head Kase store in Springfield. Parrett, Hicks and Hall are charged together in one count of maintaining a place for the purpose of storing and distributing a controlled substance at the Head Kase store in Joplin.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and involved local law enforcement cooperation, including the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Jasper CountySheriff’s Department, the Joplin Police Department, the Webb City Police Department, and the Newton County Sheriff’s Department.

 

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