Guilty plea in Missouri synthetic marijuana case

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., AP) — The owner of central Missouri stores where synthetic marijuana was sold has pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Federal prosecutors say Charles Sterling Austin Jr. of St. Charles pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. As the owner of the store, Puff N Snuff, Austin also pleaded guilty to the same charge on behalf of the company. The store had locations in Camdenton and Eldon.
Prosecutors say Austin admitted buying and selling synthetic marijuana packaged with false labeling intended to convince consumers what they were buying was not illegal.
Under the plea agreement, Austin has to forfeit about $423,000 confiscated by law enforcement from his bank account.
He faces up to 20 years in prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.