JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- According to a press release, a Fulton, Mo., man has pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than $6.6 million of syntheic cannabinoids, also known as K2, at Callaway County, Mo., businesses.

Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, made the announcement Wednesday, June 7, 2017, that Jason Lee Houston, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday, June 6, 2017, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering; both conspiracies were related to the distribution of synthetic cannibinoids.

Houston, who operated First Stop Last Stop Pawn and Aromatherapy in Fulton, admitted that he contributed to the generation of approximately $4,544,700 of the total $6,656,843 in gross proceeds generated by the conspiracy from Dec. 18, 2012, to July 16, 2015. The profit acquired is subject to forfeiture to the government in the form of a money judgment. Houston also must forfeit his residence, which was proceeds from the conspiracy, to the government.

These businesses purchased synthetic cannabinoids from co-conspirators in California and Nevada. At least 251 shipments of synthetic cannabinoids were made via FedEx and UPS. Inscentives Resale sold synthetic cannabinoids from locations in Auxvasse, Mo., and Fulton. Esscentials Resale and S&J Tobacco sold synthetic cannabinoids from locations in Holt’s Summit, Mo.

The packages of synthetic cannabinoids bore misleading labels that misidentified the contents as “incense,” “aroma therapy” or “potpourri” that were “not for human consumption.” In fact, these products were drugs intended for human consumption as a drug. Conspirators mislabeled packages of synthetic cannabinoids for the purpose of avoiding government regulation over these drugs, and to protect the continued sale of these drugs.

Houston remains in custody at the Cole County Jail and is subject to a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison without parole.