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Archive for Monday, April 12, 2010

Charges against botanical plant distribution warehouse owner — a K2 distributor — are dropped

Criminal charges against a Lawrence man at the center of a K2 controversy were dismissed Monday. The man's company Web site says the company is back in business.

April 12, 2010

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K2 Debate

Lawrence is a focal point for the current debate in the Kansas Legislature about banning the active ingredient in an herbal substance known as K2. Follow the debate and the progress of the Kansas bills here.

— The Jefferson County Attorney’s office has dismissed all criminal charges against the owner of a botanical plant distribution warehouse that was at the center of the K2 controversy.

Lawrence resident Jonathan Sloan, owner of Bouncing Bear Botanicals in Oskaloosa, was arrested in February and charged with eight felony drug offenses, including the unlawful manufacture and distribution of controlled substances.

The arrest came after federal, state and local authorities raided Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass. in downtown Lawrence, seizing the marijuana-like substance K2.

Sloan’s warehouse, which supplied Sacred Journey with K2 and a number of other herbal products, was also raided.

Investigators seized more than $700,000 in cash from the business and bank accounts and took several items from the warehouse, including thousands of cactus plants and 20 toads.

Sloan was scheduled to appear in Jefferson County court for a preliminary hearing in the case on Tuesday. Sloan did not return calls seeking comment.

Jefferson County Attorney Caleb Stegall said while the charges are dismissed, the investigation is on-going.

“My office expects to refile charges if they are warranted once the investigation is complete,” Stegall said.

Bouncing Bear Botanicals is back in operation, according to the business’s Web site. The warehouse, located on Hwy. 59 north of Lawrence, is one of the largest suppliers of ethnobotanicals in the country.

Comments

frank mcguinness 4 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmm....

I would be inclined to believe that Mr. Sloan and his business were unfairly targeted and that there could be an opportunity to file a suit against the county/ federal officials.

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Richard Payton 4 years, 3 months ago

Will charges be refiled in federal court, state, or county court? Why were charges dropped? Hopefully, the journal world reporters will find out these basic questions. Seems like it didn't take any time to be back in operation after all that went down.

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Shane Garrett 4 years, 3 months ago

Long life to the police state in which we survive.

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OonlyBonly 4 years, 3 months ago

What about the 700K they seized? What's the status on that? Does law enforcement still have it tied up?

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ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

Was there some pressing reason they arrested him, and charged him, if the investigation wasn't finished? Was he going somewhere?

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DRsmith 4 years, 3 months ago

Just another case of someone's rights being trampled. Get used to it.

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earline james 4 years, 3 months ago

This is one of those rare times I think a lawsuit would be justified.

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BruceWayne 4 years, 3 months ago

once again SEA's mouth moves yet he says nothing.

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ksjayhawk74 4 years, 3 months ago

Guessing the guessing that the charges of distributing a controlled substance were dropped because the substance... was.. not .. controlled.

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headly 4 years, 3 months ago

i understand that they have not returned any of his products, or money. and still have a $900,000 drug tax on him: www.savejon.org Something seems very, very wrong with this picture.

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gr 4 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of pictures, I just learned something. I always thought these police mug shots show how guilty the accused are. If someone's not guilty, why not smile that there is simply a misunderstanding. If I had seen Sloan's mug shot without hearing the story, I would think he looks like someone who just found out they've been caught. After reading the story and looking at his expression, it could also give the picture of someone who has been unfairly targeted, someone with anger, but not at being caught but frustration at the ones who are supposed to protect us.

Makes me wonder how the expressions were on the ones who had their business raided for selling Stevia, which contains no known affective drugs like caffeine, alcohol, or any of Sloan's accused plants. They also took their paper brochures which surely couldn't be construed as illegal.

I think some people just like throwing their weight around. Because they can. Kind of like those stealing knitting needles from grandmas while they let the terrorists board.

Kind of makes you to suspect the law enforcement of incompetence when things like this happens. Either they shouldn't have done this, or they bungled it without getting adequate evidence.

If they are in the wrong, a lawsuit would be in order. Otherwise, the 10 year old who buys a morning glory plant from Wal-mart for their mother for mother's day may be next.
Or an Illinois Bundleflower. Come now. The xxxxxxxxxxxxx (better not get someone else in trouble) is trying to breed them up for a high protein food crop. One would think they researched it enough to know if there are any bad things in it.

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Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

I might be wrong, but I believe the County Attorney, Caleb Stegall, is a close associate of former Assistant Attorney General Steve Maxwell and former AG Pill Kline, both extreme right wingers and both currently facing ethics violations surrounding the investigation and prosecution of the late Dr. Tiller.

Wonder if Franklin County has ever heard of 42 U.S,.C. 1983 which allows for suits against governmental entities for violation of civil rights.

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redfred 4 years, 3 months ago

What has Franklin County have to do with this? It was in Jefferson County.

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JustNoticed 4 years, 3 months ago

And what would Elvis be doing if he were alive today?

Scratching on that coffin lid trying to get out, of course.

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independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

There are too many people that depend on me. I'm too obligated. I'm in too far to get out. (Elvis Presley)

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chasmo 4 years, 3 months ago

eh---- Franklin wasn't a president...

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yankeevet 4 years, 3 months ago

What a mistake this was for the Feds............i smell a lawsuit coming for unlawful arrest.....

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Joe Hyde 4 years, 3 months ago

"Ethnobotanicals". Now there's a term I've never heard before.

To qualify as a buyer and user of such "botanicals" (example: K-2), do customers first have to provide documentation showing that they are bona fide members of an ethnic group? If so, which ethnic groups are considered legit?

Could this have been the issue involved here -- K2 was the right product but it was getting sold openly to the wrong people?

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Randall Uhrich 4 years, 3 months ago

What grounds were the warrants and charges initaially based on?!?!? I didn't see that he was doing ANYTHING illegal. Another example of redneck heavy-handed government. I'd sue the piss out of the law enforcement agencies.

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pace 4 years, 3 months ago

This way they continue to investigate without the due process time restraint. I am sure that the authorities are willing to spend any amount of money and time to get this guy. After all he defied them. They take it personal. He isn't selling stocks or hedge funds so it isn't something they feel they can drop.

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Steve Miller 4 years, 3 months ago

I heard they tried to gettem on a toad charge, one of the tods was one horned, which is illegal in jeff co. LMAO.....

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imastinker 4 years, 3 months ago

Stegall strikes again!

What an idiot!

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gr 4 years, 3 months ago

"Plastic jugs and filters used or intended for unlawful use to manufacture, cultivate, plant propagate, harvest, test, analyze or distribute a controlled substance."

I had no idea plastic jugs were on a banned list if you don't use them just right. Wonder if you use a glass jar if that would be ok - as long as it's not on a beach?

I mean, what if bought morning glories from Wal-mart in a 4" plastic container. Would they construe that as a plastic jug or a plastic pot?

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gr 4 years, 3 months ago

Is alcohol a controlled substance?

According to http://www.ksrevenue.org/faqs-abcdrugtax.htm , which is listed under "Alcoholic Beverage Control - Drug tax", controlled substances must have a drug stamp tax affixed. (Not sure if affixed "immediately after receiving the substance" or "when they are seized") They have one category for marijuana and one controlled substances. Looks like all alcoholic beverages should have a drug tax affixed to them. Since it is not "customarily sold by weight", it would be $2,000 per 50 dosage units. Is that $40 a glass?

Someone better get on it as Kansas is missing out on revenue when badly needed!

If they are going to ban morning glory plants/weeds, it's only fair they equally treat all controlled substances the same. Sounds like something to bring up in court. Whether someone pointed it out and that's why they are dropping the charges doesn't change the laws.

Is alcohol a controlled substance or not. If controlled, it needs a drug tax stamp. Affixed.

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Randall Barnes 4 years, 3 months ago

this is the reason i should have went to law school cause once charges are dropped they SHOULD NOT be able to be refiled.need a tax stamp for chocolate leave the other stuff alone.well guess i better not buy anymore bottled water or milk.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

This case is a perfect example of why the War on Drugs (aka, War on American Citizens) is a dismal failure. The laws are so complex now, that not even the prosecutors and police know what is and is not illegal.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 3 months ago

Frankly, I'm ENRAGED. Enraged that no-one told me I could be rich just by selling "botanicals" to hopeful hippies. $700K?!

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Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

The raids occurred in the first week of February and K-2 wasn't officially illegal until March 18th (or there abouts). I wonder...Is that why all charges are dropped? lol! idiot L.E.O.s! You lose again.

TAX NOT TORT!

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 3 months ago

This seems to be the same thing that has happend to the Yellow house case ( which is still going on ) no trial date is set......

I guess this is not the first time the Kansas Taliban have struck in lawrence...........

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earline james 4 years, 3 months ago

It's also tacky that this story was on the very last page of the paper (10B), when "the raid" (and "the K2 controversy") was front page news for days and days. Tacky, and evil.
Whatever happened to The Lawrencian? They would have covered this fairly. The Pitch will probably do this story justice, maybe the UDK. Unfortunately, the bias in JWorld coverage is annoying.

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