White-Collar Crime

Two Lawyers Federally Indicted re Claimed Retail Distribution of Potpourri Laced With Synthetic Pot

Two Lafayette, La., lawyers are among nine individuals and one business defendant accused in a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday of operating a multistate synthetic marijuana manufacturing and distribution network that allegedly brought in millions of dollars in less than a year.

Barry L. Domingue, 52, and Daniel James Stanford, 54, are charged in connection with the alleged sale, through a chain of Curious Goods smoke shops, of a “Mr. Miyagi” potpourri that was laced with synthetic cannabinoids, which are a controlled substance, reports the Advocate.

A KATC article says the two were indicted in connection with a national synthetic drug sting that included raids of Curious Goods stores. They face charges including conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs, conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the station reports.

Among other claimed conduct, Stanford is accused of holding a Dec. 7, 2011 meeting that served as a training session for owners and employees of Curious Goods stores, at the home of a former client who is now a co-defendant in the federal drug case, Richard Joseph Buswell, 44, reports Eunice Today.

The indictment says Stanford was a director of a company that, during such training sessions, advised and instructed participants “on how to store, display and sell the ‘Mr. Miyagi’ products, on how to detect and evade law enforcement, and how to respond to customers who asked questions about how to use the ‘Mr. Miyagi’ products and/or the physiological effects of the ‘Mr. Miyagi’ products,” the Eunice newspaper reports.

However, the Advocate said Stanford denied any wrongdoing in a Tuesday phone call.

“I’ve done nothing wrong. At all times, I was representing my client,” he told the newspaper, referring to Buswell, whom Stanford previously represented as defense counsel in an unrelated pending federal criminal case related to the client’s former business.

Buswell’s new defense counsel, Ian Hipwell, told the Advocate that his client asserts his innocence and looks forward to his day in court.

Domingue did not return a Tuesday phone call from the newspaper.

However, another attorney who owns an office building in which Stanford rents an office suite told the Advocate he has known both of the defendant lawyers professionally for years and says the men he knows would not have committed the crimes of which they are accused. “From everything I know about them, they are honorable, honest and hardworking lawyers who would never commit a crime because to do so would cost them their license,” said Bill Goode,

The Advertiser, which also has a story, notes that the case was investigated by multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

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