Columbia man pleads guilty in K2 smuggling case
JEFFERSON CITY - Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday a Columbia man pleaded guilty for his role in a plan to smuggle chemicals used to make synthetic cannabinoids, or K2.
Wesley Upchurch, 30, admitted he and others bought synthetic cannabinoids in powder form from China between March 2011 and March 2014. When the packages were shipped to the U.S. they had labels designed to mislead customs officials about the contents. The chemicals were then combined with other ingredients, like potpourri, and sold at various stores.
Upchurch specifically admitted to sending more than $250,000 to Chinese vendors as payment for the chemicals.
Eighteen others have pleaded guilty in this case, and four have been sentenced.