Oct 24, 2013 10:10 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Undercover police officers and drug enforcement agents arrested a Colorado Springs businessman and three of his employees for selling the illegal synthetic cannabanoid "spice" openly from a store in the Mission Trace Shopping Center.
Ryan Oligney, 28 and three of his employees at Spice of Life on South Academy Boulevard were jailed Tuesday night following a six month undercover investigation involving members of a joint task force between the Colorado Springs Police Department and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Court documents filed Monday to obtain a warrant for Oligney's arrest suggest that Oligney not only manufactured the drugs himself, but was brazen enough to apply for a federal trademark for them.
He registered his store under a shell company called WRx Distributing, L.L.C in 2011. The business also sold glass pipes and bongs, as well as marijuana themed t-shirts.
The sting operation was launched in late April. Undercover officers bought five packages of the drug and sent the samples to a laboratory for testing. All of the samples tested positive for the chemical compound JWH-018, an illegal synthetic cannabanoid.
The officers came back in late May and bought 50 packages, then again in early June and bought 491 grams, roughly 280 packages. The drugs were sold under the names Colorado Chronic, California Chronic, Colorado Chronic Black Diamond, That Sh** and Mr. Nice Guy.
The officers staked out Oligney's home watch him and his employees deliver the spice in brown plastic grocery bags. Oligney, 30-year old Donald Cordova, 32-year old Allan Johnson and 35-year old Joseph Hershberger were all arrested on felony charges of distribution and conspiracy and held on $2,000 bond.
By Thursday, all but Cordova had posted bail. Oligney, Johnson and Cordova are scheduled to formally hear the charges against them read aloud in court next Wednesday. Hershberger was advised Wednesday and will be court next on November 4.