Baldwin City man accused of selling counterfeit laundry detergent to face trial this fall

In this April 27, 2011 photo, Procter & Gamble's Tide detergent are displayed at a Target store in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A singular legal scenario stemming from some supposedly spurious soap will stretch into September.

Alliteration aside, both the prosecution and defense acknowledge the case is unique, and now they’re preparing for a criminal trial this fall.

You may recall in February we reported about a Baldwin City man who faces a single felony count of counterfeiting in Douglas County District Court.

Essentially the man, Brian Glenn, is accused of selling laundry detergent out of his home and falsely presenting it as Tide-brand detergent. He had a preliminary hearing in February to determine whether he should stand trial.

During the hearing Special Agent Randy Slater of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office testified that he approached Glenn, owner and operator of Clean Start Soap Sales, while undercover last year and the two discussed the soaps that were for sale.

During their conversation Slater testified that Glenn gave him a sample product labeled “T.O.” for “Tide Original.” Glenn once referred to the products as “Tide-like” but didn’t make the distinction again.

The month after Slater’s initial contact with Glenn a number of law enforcement officers arrived at his house and seized dozens of five-gallon buckets of detergent, estimated to be worth more than $3,000.

An attorney for Procter and Gamble, Tide’s parent company, said during the February hearing that at no point did Glenn ever obtain a license to use Tide’s trademark, called The Bullseye.

In addition, an engineer for Procter and Gamble testified that Glenn’s detergent was significantly different from Tide’s products.

Glenn’s attorney, Cooper Overstreet, argued during the February hearing that Glenn made no attempts to keep his business a secret, nor did he believe he was selling a fake or inferior product.

Because of the complicated legal and technical references associated with the case, the February hearing did not come to an immediate close. Both Overstreet and prosecutor Steven Karrer instead submitted written arguments to finish the hearing, which Judge Paula Martin took under advisement.

On Wednesday morning Martin announced that Karrer had presented enough evidence to show a trial is warranted in Glenn’s case.

Before Wednesday’s hearing began Overstreet and Karrer discussed how long a trial might take. Each noted the situation was uncommon and they were unsure how long they might need to make their arguments.

When asked by Martin, Karrer requested three days for a trial, noting the process might be done in two.

Martin scheduled Glenn’s trial to begin on Sept. 11.

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.