Troy A. Rawlings, 33, of Meridian, who co-owned two Treasure Valley smoke shops, pleaded guilty Thursday today in federal court to count one of the indictment charging him with conspiracy to sell, offer for sale, and transport drug paraphernalia, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
Rawlings, who co-owned the Smoke Shop in Nampa and the Smoke Shop 2 in Kuna, admitted in court Thursday that he conspired to sell paraphernalia under the guise that the devices be used to smoke tobacco, or for other "legitimate" purposes, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. According to a news release, nearly all of the paraphernalia was commonly used for marijuana and other illegal substances.
Rawlings is scheduled to be sentenced June 17 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Rawlings and co-defendant and brother-in-law Jason Guerrero, 34, of Boise, were indicted by a federal grand jury last May after a sweep of 13 Treasure Valley businesses authorities refer to as Operation Not For Human Consumption. According to the Attorney's Office, nine of the businesses were selling Spice, a mixture of herbs sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to THC, the chemical found in marijuana. The Legislature made Spice illegal in Idaho in 2011.
Rawlings and Guerrero were among 17 people charged in the case. Guerrero, Rawlings' brother-in-law, pleaded guilty in February to one count of offering drug paraphernalia for sale and one count of engaging in monetary transactions involving criminally derived property. He faces up to three years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to one year of supervised release on the drug paraphernalia charge and up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release on the money laundering charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4.
The government is also seeking forfeiture of assets derived from the activities. Rawlings and Guerrero could lose at least $171,000 - $60,000 of which was found in Rawlings' home in south Meridian. The rest of the money was found in five bank accounts associated with the businesses.