Wholesale business owner, employees indicted in multi-million dollar drug operation

Business made more than $2 million from the illegal sales in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jan 27, 2014

Eight people have been indicted on charges filed in connection with a large-scale drug operation that supplied illicit drugs to customers in Ohio and across the country.

The indictments of the owner and employees of Oncore Wholesale follow a joint-investigation by the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Task Force, the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

The investigation uncovered a large amount of Kratom, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds, and nitrous oxide being sold by the company over the internet for consumption. Authorities made the discovery after serving a search warrant at the company's warehouse on Busey Road in Fairfield County in July.

Canal Winchester resident David G. Surratt Jr., 37, the owner of Oncore Wholesale, was indicted by a Fairfield County Grand Jury on Friday on the following charges:

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Trademark Counterfeiting
    Trafficking in Drugs
    Trafficking in Harmful Intoxicants
    Possession or Sale of Unapproved Drugs

The following Oncore Wholesale employees were indicted on the same charges, plus an additional charge of Conspiracy to Commit Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity:

    Sarah M. Surratt, 32, Canal Winchester
    Adam D. Haase, 38, Columbus
    Shawn R. Lewis, 38, Columbus
    David A. Highben, 40, Columbus
    Amanda E. Parsons, 25, Lancaster
    Kevin J. Wilt, 27, Canal Winchester

"These individuals were blatantly promoting and selling the products for consumption," Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "Although these are not your typical street drugs, we do have concerns that abuse of these substances could become more common."

"These drugs mimic the effects of other very hazardous drugs," said Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Task Force Commander Eric Brown. "This is a whole new side to the drug trade, and we want to stop these drugs from coming into our communities before they become a more widespread problem."

The Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seed is a schedule three drug and nitrous oxide is often abused as an inhalant. Kratom, an herbal drug grown in southeast Asia, has no legitimate medical use and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, therefore making it illegal to manufacture for human consumption, posses for human consumption, or sell for human consumption.

“These indictments are the result of local and state law enforcement agencies working together to combat the trafficking and possession of drugs that cause harm to the citizens of Ohio,” said Jesse Wimberly, a spokesperson for the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. "The Board of Pharmacy looks forward to providing testimony regarding the non-FDA approved drug Kratom, which is an emerging drug of concern that state and local authorities are closely monitoring."

"I have high praise for the authorities involved in this investigation, including the alert Fairfield County Sheriff's deputy who initially discovered the warehouse," Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx said. "I also want to give credit to the tireless efforts of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney James A. Davey who presented the cases to the Fairfield County Grand Jury and spent countless hours discussing the cases with the officers and preparing the extremely complicated indictments."

In addition to the drugs, investigators also uncovered thousands of branded products, including beer cans, energy drinks, and other household products that had been modified with hidden compartments and sold to conceal illegal products from detection.

Authorities determined that the business made more than $2 million from the illegal sales in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Upon serving an arrest warrant on David Surratt Jr. earlier this week, investigators found an additional warehouse on Groveport Road in Franklin County, which also stored a large amount of Kratom and counterfeit products. Additional charges could be filed.

Members of the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Task Force include the Pickerington Police Department, Lancaster Police Department, Logan Police Department, Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield County Prosecutor’s Office, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, and Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office.

Comments

rickross2

Mmmmmmmm, nitrous.

Jazzer

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is botanically related to coffee.
It is A NATURAL HERB.
It is NOT SYNTHETIC!
It is NOT ILLEGAL in Ohio!
It is a leaf from a tree. It is not popular with teens. Kratom users are typically aged 35-75 and use it to manage pain from arthritis, cancer, migraines, anxiety and depression. A responsible kratom vendor will sell you only pure, quality product because they want a good reputation and they want your repeat business. I have used it daily for 5 years with no more than dry mouth for a side effect. Alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs injure and kill people every day. Kratom has never killed anybody. It does not cause hallucinations. If it did then it would cost more. Kratom is self-regulating: it is impossible to overdose.
It is shameful that some vendors become greedy and sell Kratom along with substances that could possibly be harmful to one's health. That is no reason to spread false information about a natural leaf that saves lives and helps people stop taking more dangerous substances.
Dear reader, please do your own research and do not believe everything you read in the media these days. Whatever happened to reporters FACT-CHECKING before publishing false information?

Windy

"Whatever happened to reporters FACT-CHECKING before publishing false information?"

Sensationalism sells more papers.

savage_henry

Kratom, however, is an opiate receptor agonist, at the beta, kappa, and mu re-uptakes if I'm recalling correctly... I'm not saying it's harmful but what is harmful is going about in the world preaching the harmlessness of something that is in fact unknown. Seeing it in the paper prolly isn't good news either, you should prolly stock up and expect it to go the way of salvia divinorum and the good ole 2c's.

savage_henry

http://www.erowid.org/plants/kra...

Now everyone can educate themselves

Ed Hoy

Erowid tends to be a forum that promotes alternate consciousness, and substances of abuse. While I personally have no problem with that, the general public might be better educated through a site like Wikipedia ( at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kr... ), which provides footnotes to primary sources of research, rather than user experiences, and "trip reports".
Kratom, has in fact been used for thousands of years by people as a natural remedy, and has been studied at length and shown to be non-toxic. There are very limited anecdotal reports of an individual who had some adverse reactions, but the majority of research points to this plant as being benign, and beneficial.
I assume that the DA in Ohio has leveled charges against this wholesaler for the way in which his company marketed these products. Nitrous is a food aeresol, hawaiian woodrose is a seed, and kratom is a leaf. Marketing any of them as ingestables is foolish, in this case selfish, and currently illegal. Companies like the one mentioned here in the indictment do a lot of harm to the general public, as well as to the innocent individuals who have found a savior in Kratom for it's ability to help with opiate withdrawal and pain relief. Kratom is not a good choice for "getting high". It is a great choice for getting straight, and pain free. It should not be marketed in ways which put it in the crosshairs of government regulation. Criminalizing plants is a gross waste of tax payer dollars.

lapalco

Wait...kratom is illegal because it has not been approved by the FDA??

Well shoot, my multi-v and fish oils are not approved either. Does that make them illegal, "Norwalk Reflector Staff?"

I better go to my Dr and get a rx for those. :)

What kind of research did you do before writing this? Where is your journalistic integrity? I can understand one person making this mistake, but a whole staff??

Shame on you Norwalk Reflector Staff. Edit it and tell the truth! Wonder what other kind of lies you are writing about.

lapalco

Hey savage_henry,

yeah its unknown...its only been used for CENTURIES across the pacific...

Albert_D.C.

Kratom is not a drug. It is a herb. It does not need FDA approval like nutmeg, mint leaf, tea leaf, and etc... It is not even on the DEA list of "Drugs and Chemicals of concern". www.justice(DOT)gov/dea/druginfo/factsheets.shtml

Kratom is a safe herb with medicinal value. I am a 58 yrs old man. It helps me to control diabetes. Manage nerve and joint pain with out drowsiness. For me kratom provides a mild energy boost and allows me to keep up with daily chores. Kratom will not suppress breathing like the opiates which is a big concern for me. The latest information concern any type of research can be found at pubmed.gov

The Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seed is a schedule three drug and those people need a license to prescribe it.