Friday, January 23, 2015

Missouri woman pleads guilty in Kansas in multimillion-dollar designer drug case

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Missouri woman pleaded guilty Friday to being part of a conspiracy to operate an Olathe-based business that sold at least $16 million worth of synthetic forms of marijuana and other street drugs, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Cindy McRoberts, 49, Lees Summit, Mo., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and analogues of controlled substances.

According to court records, McRoberts was an employee who worked for co-defendants Tracy Picanso and Roy Ehrett, who owned Olathe-based businesses that produced and sold dangerous controlled substances and controlled substance analogues of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) and methcathinones (stimulants).

They used the Internet to market their products under exotic names including Pump It, Head Trip, Black Arts, Grave Digger, Voodoo Doll and Lights Out. Some of the drugs were manufactured in buckets on warehouse floors.

McRoberts worked as the office manager at the office in Olathe and at warehouses in Kansas City, Mo. She answered phones, handled online orders, leased post office boxes, picked up shipments of illegal substances and chemicals, and transported illegal substances and chemicals between warehouses.

She is set for sentencing April 27. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million. Co-defendants Picanso and Ehrett are set for sentencing April 13.

Grissom commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, the Overland Park Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Olathe Police Department, the St. Joseph Police Department and the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway for her work on the case.

McRoberts is innocent until proven guilty.