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Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Federal officials again raid Lawrence store at center of K2 controversy

Sacred Journey closes for most of day

Sacred Journey owner Natalie McAnulla leans her head against the wall outside her store in 2010 while law enforcement officials conducted an investigation inside. McAnulla purchased the store in 2009 and sold K2 there.

Sacred Journey owner Natalie McAnulla leans her head against the wall outside her store in 2010 while law enforcement officials conducted an investigation inside. McAnulla purchased the store in 2009 and sold K2 there.

June 10, 2010, 1:46 p.m. Updated June 10, 2010, 8:08 p.m.

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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.

Law enforcement officials have again raided a downtown Lawrence store that was once at the center of the K2 controversy.

Downtown business raided again

Sacred Journey in downtown Lawrence was raided by law enforcement officials for the second time this year. The herbal supplement store still plans to be open for business as usual Friday. Enlarge video

Authorities conducting the raid on Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass., shut down the business for most of the day Thursday. The windows of the store were covered in white paper as law enforcement officials gathered evidence and questioned employees.

“I have a key, so I just barged in and said, ‘I work here. What’s going on?’” Sacred Journey employee Lydia Shontz said. “They said they had a search warrant.”

Shontz said she believed the officers where agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. A van with a U.S. Department of Justice tag was parked outside the store, as well as unmarked cars with Johnson County and Miami County tags.

Jim Cross, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he could not confirm or deny that Sacred Journey was the subject of a federal investigation.

Shontz said authorities were focusing on the diet supplement Que She (pronounced KAY-shee), a mix of Chinese herbs said to be a miracle weight loss pill.

“It’s not that popular at all,” Shontz said. “I don’t think I’ve sold more than two boxes in the whole year that I’ve worked here.”

Store owner Natalie McAnulla, who sat on the ground during the raid, locked out of her own store, said she was frustrated that her business was once again being targeted.

“I don’t know why they keep doing this. We’ve been in the red since the last raid. Why do they have to shut down the business for the day?” McAnulla said.

In February, the store was shut down during a raid by agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with authorities seizing the store’s supply of the marijuana-like substance K2.

On Tuesday, the officers could be seen removing several boxes of evidence from the rear door of the business and hauled out at least one computer before turning the store back over to the owner around 3 p.m.

McAnulla said she was not charged with anything criminally, but was notified that she was being charged $272,000 in taxes.

“Last year when I got this store I thought it was such a blessing,” she said. “I thought I was providing an amazing service to an organic community.”

“It seems unnecessary,” Shontz said, of the raid. “It seems like a lot of force and a lot of money put into something that could’ve been solved with very little force, very little money and very little aggression.”

Sacred Journey planned to re-open for business Friday.

Comments

frank mcguinness 4 years, 6 months ago

KUDZUVINE ROOT COIX SEED(SEMEN COICIS) CHINESE HAWTHORNE LYCICUM CHINESE (FRUIT OF CHINESE WOLFBERRY) CHINESE CHRYSANTHEMUM CHINESE LOTUS LEAF SEA-TANGLE SEMEN RAPHANI CASSIA SEED GYNOSTEMMA PENTAPHYLLUM(THUNB) TEA POLYPHNEOL (EXTRACTED FROM CHINESE GREEN TEA)

puddleglum 4 years, 6 months ago

with people trying to make me get high when i eat my penut butter crunch?

might as well go get drunk and run over bicyclists: penalty is much lower.

puddleglum 4 years, 6 months ago

your avatar is as stupid as you are. no wait, you are stupider

John Hamm 4 years, 6 months ago

Babboy - what he speaks is the truth. Whether you care to admit it or not.

gatekeeper 4 years, 6 months ago

Good god. Que she pills are just metabolism boosting pills made from a type of green tea in China. Many employees from my company travel to China each month and bring back lots of types of green tea for the rest of us. Is my place of employment going to be raided because we drink green tea.

I'm really starting to hate Lawrence, Kansas and this country as a whole. We no longer have personal rights. Drink yourself into oblivion leagally, but heaven forbid you take a green tea supplement. It isn't even a stimulant for Christ's sake.

kernal 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, green tea is only one of eleven Chinese herbal ingredients and it's supposedly one of the lesser amount of the ingredients. It's advertised on the net as a diet pill. I'm not familiar with the chemistry of the ingredients, but here they are: kudzu, coix seed, Chinese hawthorn, Chinese wolfberry, Chinese chrysanthemum, Chinese lotus leaf, sea tangle, seman raphani, cassia seed, green tea extract, gymistemma penta phyllum. It's used as an herbal diet pill and is not regulated by the FDA, so that leaves the question of why the store was really raided today.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

yeah, doesn't make much sense when they promote "miracle weight loss pills" that work by "sitting on the couch" daily on TV and print.

Graczyk 4 years, 6 months ago

Talk about holding a grudge. Why are these people wasting time on something like this when there are much larger problems?

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 6 months ago

I guess they are targeting another store instead of the yellow house.......

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

The land of the free... to do as the nanny state thinks is in your best interest. You have brought it on yourselves.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 6 months ago

The government will continue to outlaw any item which can be misused. This is part of the fear based society that we've all not only grown accustom to, but actually begged for. The war on drugs and other things that can be misused is the biggest waste of time and money that the world has ever seen. Land of the free my ass.

Food_for_Thought 4 years, 6 months ago

When someone becomes physically dependent upon a chemical substance, they do whatever they must to support their dependency. If all drugs were legalized, such chemically-dependent people would destroy their personal and family lives. Drug overdoses and prioritizing their drug of choice over supporting themselves and their loved ones would be just scratching the surface. Once these people have lost their jobs or run out of ways to pay for their habit, they'd resort to stealing the drug, and if it were not attainable by stealing directly, they would commit criminal acts (burglary, robbery, theft) to support those habits.

If you think otherwise, then I envy you, as ignorance is bliss...

Orwell 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm guessing you'd advocate re-adoption of Prohibition, then, eh?

You may be right that dependent types will do "whatever they must" to support their habits. If that involved only a local legal purchase at a price not inflated by the risks of illegality, like a six-pack at the QuikTrip, that wouldn't be much of a crime generator, would it?

The_Bends 4 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps the government should do to protect "people" from "themselves." Government would be even smaller, and less expensive, with more (paternalist) laws.

Ignorance certainly is bliss, but only for the ignorant.

Stephanie Anderson 4 years, 6 months ago

Hmmm...sounds exactly like now. When someone becomes physically dependent on a chemical substance, or wants to just use recreationally, he/she will find a way. Period. So why does it need to be illegal again? The substance doesn't need to be outlawed, but the person can be held accountable for his/her actions. Same as someone committing a crime while drunk.

hurlingchunks 4 years, 6 months ago

Exactly what study has been performed to prove this particular substance causes dependency? What test have been performed to determine that this substance is dangerous? What crimes have been commented wile participants have been under the influence of this substance? Why do we blindly follow such as people who would ban or eliminate any product on the pretense that "its all for the grater good"?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 6 months ago

"The government will continue to outlaw any item which can be misused."

Right. Tobacco, alcohol, uncounted prescription drugs. It depends on the lobbyists and what politicians stand to gain by taking a stance. Follow the money.

Is my opinion.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 6 months ago

I would definitely say my dependence on junkfood is a much more dangerous dependence than that of cannabis.

earline james 4 years, 6 months ago

How's that lawsuit coming? Got a lawyer?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 6 months ago

I thought we'd already seen this movie....

frankwiles 4 years, 6 months ago

What's the matter with Kansas? Stupidity like this is what. Can we please stop the VERY expensive War on Plants now?

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 6 months ago

Snap, I think it is titled "Carnival of Souls"

And the car just went over the bridge.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 6 months ago

the chineese eat 5 meals a day and they are not fat. hmmmmmm ever wonder why ????? so i guess our government wants to keep americans fat.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

Because an hour after eating Chinese food they are hungry again? [rim shot]

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

I believe the Chinese used to be thin because they had food shortages and used rice as a "filler" so to speak, which isn't going to add much weight. That and they rode bicycles everywhere and did manual labor. I've seen studies lately that have shown the shift not only in Chinese people eating sh*t food like Americans do, but to the dependence on cars.

In other words...the eastern America?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

From a site that promotes the sale of the stuff from "Bouncing Bear Botanicals", based in Lawrence...

"WHY DO I FEEL A LITTLE DRUNK AFTER TAKING QUE SHE ? Most users don’t feel anything unusual, but some people can get “tipsy” when first starting on QUE SHE. The intoxicated feeling is due to the tea polyphenol in QUE SHE. Some users may be sensitive to it and have a light buzz associated with being drunk. Drinking more water can help lesson the feeling and the intoxicating effects should lesson after a few days."

So... it seems that someone here in town may (MAY) be promoting this as a way to get stoned. The question is: is it illegal to get stoned on tea polyphenol?

Kelly Johnson 4 years, 6 months ago

Hey, thanks to the feds bringing this stuff to my attention, I'm gonna go get some and try it out! I could stand to lose a few pounds!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

If it weren't for the FDA and the laws we have in place, we wouldn't know what to take for a headache without the risk of death or growing a third eye. You'd go to the store to "be your own pharmacist" and Tylenol would be on the shelf next to Bird Shyte pills and you would have to guess which one was OK to take, or if you could give it to your baby, etc.

Did you ever ask WHY we have such regulations? I'm a little surprised that anyone would really believe that it should be a pharmaceutical free for all out there. People would be dying left and right. Do you trust the corner drug dealer to not poison you? Of course not, but without regulation, that's how dangerous it'd be to take simple cold medicines ("gee, I wonder if this is safe?").

Stuart Evans 4 years, 6 months ago

under the FDA guidelines of prescribed medication, thousands upon thousands of people die every year. I don't want bird shyte pills any more than you do.. unless they cure the hell out of something. the fact is, the bird shyte pills may be a much healthier alternative to what the pharmaceuticals and FDA are filling us with.

the war on drugs is primarily a war on marijuana. All of the other hype about cocaine and shrooms & even heroin is really overblown, and still doesn't kill as many people as the pharmaceuticals.

you can die from too much aspirin, caffeine, and even too much water. why aren't these things completely illegal?

grammaddy 4 years, 6 months ago

Make sure you're at least 1000 feet from a school! Now puff puff pass!

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

Smoking parks, now that would be swell.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I think we agree about the abuse of the patriot act and warrantless wiretapping (legislation passed overwhelmingly by democrats and republicans). Local gun laws are a little different because they can be crafted to be virtual bans on gun ownership, which is unconstitutional. Death with dignity is another good point you make. Every human should be afforded the freedom to die when they want (notwithstanding mental problems). War on drugs... pure idiocy... and embraced by both the right and the left.

Outside of the gun part. you make valid points, but the loss of those freedoms are a result of the loss of state's rights, not the cause. In cases where the constitution grants rights, the state's are on the losing end; that's how America was made. But on the occasions when the supreme court strains the wording of the constitution attempting to make it a "living document" for the sake of bad federal legislation the rights that should be reserved for states and their citizens are almost always invariably abridged.

It isn't like I hate the federal government, it is a legitimate part of our system. Unfortunately we have allowed it to overpower local government for the sake of questionable laws penned as kneejerk reactions to problems better dealt with by state laws..

Now we are all paying the price.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

Every law has been and will be abused. We shouldn't be surprised by that. You are right about the government needing to be revamped down to about 1/5th it's current size.

As for Kobach, he's a politician. That means he will say what he thinks people want to hear or defend his party's line. Especially when running for office.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 6 months ago

no, you could get dizzy and fall, therefor hurting yourself or someone nearby. you should NOT partake in this unhealthy activity. meanwhile, I think the senate will rubber stamp the bill so as to save others from ever attempting this criminal act.

donuthater 4 years, 6 months ago

A local store is raided twice, both times for selling LEGAL products and this is the best story JW could come up with. Your supposed to be journalists! You think maybe this story deserves a little investigation? Lawrence Journal you should be ashamed of yourselves. It's this kind of sham reporting that helps to undermine our democracy.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

Take it easy, dude. You expect an investigative expose` the same day as the raid?

Stuart Evans 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree. aren't there some journalists here that could really get to the root of the drug war corruption?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

They should change their name to "Yellow Store Herbs".

lawrencenerd 4 years, 6 months ago

Watch out, soon they are gonna be raiding all the pizza places for putting oregano in the pizza sauce. Kids smoke that stuff you know.

kernal 4 years, 6 months ago

Time to start drying those banana peels again, roll 'em & light up!

lawrencenerd 4 years, 6 months ago

Holy crap, I have bananas. I bet they're gonna raid me soon!

Steve Jacob 4 years, 6 months ago

I think anything made or produced or sold by Bouncing Bear Botanicals is in question.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 6 months ago

I think anything made or produced or sold by Bouncing Bear Botanicals is in question.

kernal 4 years, 6 months ago

Any business that calls itself Bouncing Bear sounds like a load of scat to me.

Kristine Bailey 4 years, 6 months ago

Do ya think she forgot to pay her Sales Tax? Big no no.

acg 4 years, 6 months ago

It seems simple to me. If this store were a pharmacy, selling pills pushed by the health care system and the drug companies (i.e., the boys with all the money), no one would say "boo" about it. The establishment doesn't care if you're high, folks, they just want to make sure its on their stuff. You can get a script all day long for prozac, xanax, valium, etc. but heaven forbid you take/smoke/eat/drink something herbal. Nanny state, indeed. What a waste of time, money, energy and resources.

1029 4 years, 6 months ago

actually, you arent supposed to smoke the banana peels. that wont do anything for you. if you want to use banana peels to get high, you have to take them rectally. i read it in a book.

akt2 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to have a nice cup of herbal tea and go nighty nite. Then when I wake up in the morning I'll drink about 6 cups of black coffee. Chamomile and caffiene. Botanicals. Natural herbal substances. What an addict I am.

taucetiman 4 years, 6 months ago

"Shontz said she believed the officers where agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department."

D minus for the proofreader of this article. ("where" for "were")

Jcjayhawk1 4 years, 6 months ago

The funny thing is.....after the first shut down of her store the first check to bounce was to pay taxes. They froze her account and all payments were returned.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

You'll have to. Pain in this country is so under treated because doctors live in such fear of the DEA that Europeans think we're barbarians.

igby 4 years, 6 months ago

I suppose some JC kid came to Lawrence, got high and went back home to his or her GOP parents and they found his stash. They have to blame someone so they tell mommy, during the hair brush beating that they got it in Lawrence, at that hippy store by the courthouse. Lol.

Hoots 4 years, 6 months ago

They just want to put them out of business. Too sad...The day will come.

LadyJ 4 years, 6 months ago

Natalie, a word of advice, don't take any advice from Yellow House. :)

Truami 4 years, 6 months ago

I think they are mad because I can buy a cheaper allergy remedy at sacred journey then any of their artificial and bad for you over the counter pills which are subject to be covered in animal parts.

Richard Payton 4 years, 6 months ago

Will they raid all tea baggers next? Must like tea parties.

conservativepunker 4 years, 6 months ago

But I thought everything was going to be shiny and happy when Barry was President.....

mrbig 4 years, 6 months ago

Why are they being charged so much in taxes?

Munsoned 4 years, 6 months ago

If the FDA needs to focus their effort on investigating suncreeens whose ingredients are misleading the public about their actual safety (See http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/) and regulating the hazardous chemicals used in the cosmetics industry without people even realizing it (See http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/). And I am not concerned about the adults who choose to put mercury laden mascara on (although they should be aware that they are); I am concerned about big companies putting toxic chemicals in things like baby wipes, baby shampoo, baby lotion, etc. FDA needs to protect the bodies and well-being of babies and kids whose parents believe they are doing the right thing by using "baby sunscreen spf 100" when it is actually more of a health hazard with most of those products.

If an adult wants to take herbs for whatever reason and get tipsy-- who cares. We put worse things on our lawns every year to kill bugs without even thinking about it. The FDA does not care for anyone but large companies and whoever posted that this herb they are focused on is probably a competitor for some big company product is probably right in some way or another.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

"If an adult wants to take herbs for whatever reason and get tipsy-- who cares. We put worse things on our lawns every year to kill bugs without even thinking about it."

The stuff I put on my lawn won't make me wreck my car on the turnpike. If it DID, there would be a warning label to that effect. These products make you tipsy, but don't warn you about that, so you go ahead and take a couple and then get on your backhoe... see the difference?

Munsoned 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah. It should ALL be labeled so we can make an educated decision about purchasing and consuming any said product.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

"Do you honestly think that that herbal mixture would make you wreck your can on the turnpike??"

Here's the problem: my answer to that problem is an uneducated guess. I mention the risk because one of Bouncing Bear's websites makes light mention of feeling "tipsy" after taking the pills (but without any clarity on why it makes people feel that way). "Tipsy" is what we call people who get DUIs, so YES, I think (based on their own admission) that there is some risk... but we don't know to what extent!

The stuff I put on my lawn WILL hurt me. I know this because the label has warnings.

Who are you to ask someone else if THEY know what they are talking about?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

Booze IS regulated. These substances - which admittedly make you "tipsy" - are not regulated and have no warnings. Even Budwiser spends money to communicate the need to "drink responsibly".

bearded_gnome 4 years, 6 months ago

so, up to the first shut down, we'd received hundreds of wrong number dials, no I'm not kidding: "you sell the herbs mann?" "you got the herbal cigarettes?" "still selling the K2?" etc., etc., etc. ... ... !!!! after the first closure we received 2 more such calls.

one of our numbers is close numerically to Sacred Journey's.
since the reopening, not one such call.

QED: potheads can't dial the phone! since they quit selling K2, we got no wrong number calls!

somebody sure is determined, I thought all charges were dropped from the first closure.

bouncing bear=a bear high on something? bouncing off the walls bear?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah... that part is odd. How does a business like that rack up a $1/4M in back taxes? Doesn't that imply millions in revenues from a simple "herb store"? With the mark-up they have on products like that, I don't see how they would fail to pay their taxes.

Mobsters in NY would launder money that way: open a pizzaria, sell a dozen pies a day, and deposit $12,000 in daily reciepts at the bank. [I'm not saying it's a laundering scheme, but those numbers are suspicious in my mind.]

Kris_H 4 years, 6 months ago

If it was state taxes, why would the feds be there? However, KDOR doesn't mess around; if you owe them sales taxes and don't pay, they will take whatever you have that they can lay their hands on. I've seen several businesses here in Topeka shut completely down by KDOR's actions.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

I never said this was going to do anyone any good, I just think there are some potentially legitimate reasons why this action is necessary.

You might think me stupid, but I guess I am just gullible enough to make the outrageous assumption that Federal agents don't raid "tea" stores out of boredom. I'm a little too trusting, I guess. Yep, they were all scratching their butts the other day and said "I'm bored... let's go shut down some businesses owned by liberals."

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 6 months ago

If it were about Federal income taxes the IRS would be there. There are many kinds of taxes (state, sales, etc.).

Why are the most uninformed people the first to call someone else stupid?

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

You are right. They aren't just killing time busting some herbal store. I'm certain that what they are doing exactly what the DOJ believes is right. The problem isn't the fed in this case, they are just working people like the rest of us. The problem is the legislation that they are enforcing.

Of course, if this does all boil down to a large amount of unpaid taxes, then the store owners are getting what they deserve. I hate taxes and I pay too much, but as long as the fed or state is acting within the law and the money is owed, everyone needs to pay their way even if it's at the point of a bayonet.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I imagine the ones that aren't screwed up with all the jesus stuff would be be against this raid. There is a lot of libertarian thought inside the tea party movement, even though it is polluted by conservatism.

kernal 4 years, 6 months ago

Likely the FBI was using the Justice Department van since it's a division of the Justice Department. Not sure why the FBI would be involved in unregulated diet herbs or back taxes; maybe their presence is just as an assist. Federal motto: "mums the word"!

Janet Lowther 4 years, 6 months ago

The entire "War on Drugs" is based on an extended campaign of lies, half-truths and innuendo.

See http://www.adrugwarcarol.com for a quick, comic-book format explanation of the history.

Virtually all so-called "Drug Violence" is derived from the fact they are illegal.

Back when an addict could walk into a drug store and buy Bayer Heroine off the shelf, you didn't have junkies robbing people to pay for their next fix.

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

That Chericol cough syrup really quieted down the younguns Good for the shakes too just sign here please.

BruceWayne 4 years, 6 months ago

always about you huh Alex? the apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree.

workinghard 4 years, 6 months ago

I guess they could ask the feds and the state for a phone number that they can call to clear anything they want to sell. If all stores called for every item they wanted to sell, it would cause the feds and the state quite a headache. You would have to record the call to verify you were told it was legal to sell.

headly 4 years, 6 months ago

The $270,000 tax they gave her, is not a sales tax or property tax or business tax. It is the "Kansas Illegal Drug Tax." Drug dealers are required to have drug tax stamps on their pot and cocaine baggies.

So.... they seized her diet herbs, did not charge her with any crimes, but then did levy a "drug tax" of $270,000 for selling these herbs that help people lose weight.... Hmmmm.....

That sure makes a lot of sense.

Kansas government gone insane! Pure harrassemnt.

headly 4 years, 6 months ago

The $270,000 is the KDOR Drug Tax Stamp. http://www.ksrevenue.org/faqs-abcdrugtax.htm

The Kansas Drug Tax is very real. They charged Natalie a drug tax of $20.00 for every pill found on the premises. Sacred Journey sold 2 boxes of pills for a whopping $25.00.

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