Olathe residents plead guilty to operating multimillion-dollar designer drug business

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Olathe residents have pleaded guilty to operating a synthetic drug business, which in less than two years has generated millions of dollars in sales.

On Monday, Tracy Picanso, 58, of Olathe, Kansas, and Roy Ehrett, 56, also of Olathe, Kansas, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of producing and selling misbranded drugs, one count of producing and selling counterfeit drugs and one count of conspiracy to launder money. They are accused of operating the synthetic drug business which made at least $16 million in sales according to the U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

According to a release, an indictment which was unsealed in April, alleged both Picanso and Ehrett owned an Olathe-based business, which produced and sold dangerous controlled substances which contained active ingredients found in both marijuana and stimulants, like methamphetamine.

The release accuses both suspects of selling products under exotic names like, “Pump It, Head Trip, Black Arts, Grave Digger, Voodoo Doll and Lights Out.”

The two allegedly manufactured some of the drugs in buckets with drill-powered immersion mixers and tried them out on “testers” who helped tweak the recipes by reporting on the effects of the drugs.

The drug operation stretched from Kansas to Missouri, California, Texas, Georgia and Colorado, and involved more than 15 companies with more than 40 financial accounts at more than 10 financial institutions.

According to the release, businesses owned and operated by the defendants included Retailing Specialists, Innovative Products 4U, The Outer Edge, Lakeridge Holdings, Monster Warehouse, Monster Distribution, Monster, 3P Distribution and Life Source.

Sentencing for Picanso and Ehrett is set for April 13. Both face a sentence between 7 and 15 years in federal prison.