Inweekly published this story in June 2014. There was no mention of the trial in the local media. All we got was a press release. At the time, we tried to get an interview with DOJ and could not get anyone to return our calls.
The Psychedelic Shack was founded by Burton Ritchie. He sold it in 2012.
The president of The Psychedelic Shack, Inc., Crystal Hope Henry, entered a guilty plea on June 5 in Mobile, Ala. federal court, according to a release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the release, Henry and her co-conspirators manufactured and distributed at least 20 tons of products containing the chemical compound XLR11. The products, which were actually smokable synthetic cannabinoids (SSC)—commonly referred to as “spice,” were marketed potpourri under names such as “Bizarro,” “Sonic Zero,” “Neutronium” and “Orgazmo.”
The company Henry worked for, ZenBio, operated a call center in Robertsdale and from Dec. 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013 took in over $29.6 million. Her attorney argued at the time of her arrest a year ago that she was only a bookkeeper.
Henry faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Monies seized from her in June of 2013 have also been administratively forfeited.
According to filings with the Florida Secretary of State, ZenBio, LLC had two other managers – Victor Nottoli of Hillsborough, Calif. and Joseph C. Finley of Milton, Fla. Nottoli also had trouble with the Department of Justice
On May 15, Nottoli pleaded guilty in California to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of causing at least 24 tons of misbranded smokable synthetic cannabinoids (SSC) to be introduced into interstate commerce.
According to court documents, between April 1, 2011, and June 26, 2013, Nottoli generated more than $20 million by distributing the spice products throughout the U.S. and from his six smoke shops.