Ten people in Lincoln and Omaha have been indicted on drug and ammunition charges that allegedly involved numerous Exotica stores, U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced Friday. Indicted are John Ways, Jr., Christian Firoz, Alan Davis and Mark Cooney of Lincoln, Nebraska; Frank Firoz and Michael Blackstone of South Sioux City, Iowa; and Constance Hagelstein, David Roberts, Joshua Wellborn and Ronda Decamp of Omaha.
Five of them were arrested Friday.
They are all named in a three-count indictment stemming from a synthetic drug and drug paraphernalia conspiracy operated through numerous Exotica stores in Lincoln and Omaha as well as Council Bluffs and South Sioux City, Iowa, Gilg said.
Ways is also charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of ammunition.
Synthetic ecstasy, synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized or purchased during the course of the investigation.
In addition, 800 rounds of ammunition and more than $1 million were seized from Exotica locations and bank accounts, as well as some of the homes of the defendants, Gilg said.
If convicted, the 10 will face a maximum penalty upon conviction of 33 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
The initial appearances for the five individuals is set at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 28 before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. A. Gossett, III.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Omaha Police Department, Lincoln Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol.
Gilg said an indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime, but a defendant is presumed innocent of the charges.