Shealey, of Royal Palm Beach, and Harrison, of Lantana, cut deals with federal prosecutors, each agreeing to plead guilty to a count of conspiring to break federal laws. They admitted plotting to distribute an illegal substance and selling a misbranded drug. Both agreed to turn over more than $2 million in assets.
Attorneys for Shealey and Harrison argued Wednesday that their clients had prior attorneys advise them the products they were manufacturing were legal. Whenever the federal government listed a chemical as illegal, Kratom Lab would destroy any products containing it, said Marc Seitles, Shealey's attorney.
The defense attorneys questioned why Shealey and Harrison weren't issued cease-and-desist letters to stop making the products.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Stefin said the two men had to have known what they were doing was highly questionable, if not illegal. They were marketing Mr. Nice Guy as a herbal incense with anyone, including children, able to buy it at gas stations, convenience stores and online.
...With their plea deals, neither man faced more than five years behind bars. Federal prosecutors recommended a 28-month sentence for Harrison and three years in prison for Shealey.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra said he found their cases unusual because of the ambiguities surrounding the laws governing the chemicals.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Sentences in synthetic marijuana case
Marc Seitles represented the owner, John Shealy, who was sentenced to 18 months. From the Sun-Sentinel: