Tulsa couple indicted for drug conspiracy that killed Utah woman
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, NDOA
A Tulsa couple has been indicted for an opium poppy seed drug conspiracy resulting in the death of Utah woman, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Brandon David McCarthy, 37, and spouse, Rachel Christine McCarthy, 34, of Tulsa, are charged with drug conspiracy; distribution of morphine, codeine and Thebaine; distribution of morphine, codeine and Thebaine resulting in death; possession of morphine, codeine and Thebaine with intent to distribute; maintaining a drug house, money laundering and other charges.
According to the multi-count criminal indictment, the McCarthys are owners of Lone Goose Bakery, an online retailer of unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex. Opium latex is a byproduct of the opium poppy plant that contains opiate alkaloids, including morphine, codeine, and thebaine, which are schedule II controlled substances.
From June 2017 through November of 2020, the McCarthys illegally sold unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex to opiate users, prosecutors said. Lone Goose Bakery purchased bulk quantities of unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex and repackaged the seeds for resale across the United States.
It is alleged that the McCarthys produced books and videos about poppy seed tea made with unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex. These materials were marketed on the internet and social media. The tea was promoted to help reduce pain, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure.
Additionally, the tea was advertised as an anti-diarrheal with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
The indictment alleges that a single dose of poppy seed tea made with Lone Goose Bakery unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex could expose a consumer up to approximately 1,200 milligrams of morphine.
The majority of buyers of Lone Goose Bakery’s unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex were individuals purchasing the product for personal consumption.
It is alleged that Lone Goose Bakery’s poppy seeds were not processed to an edible food grade standard. In Dec. of 2018, an Utah woman consumed tea made from Lone Goose Bakery’s unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex, overdosed and died.
From November 2017 through November 2020, the McCarthys received over $12 million in payments from the sale of unprocessed poppy seeds coated in opium latex. Court records show the proceeds were later spent on real estate, property improvements, art, vehicles and precious metals, including gold and silver coins.
If convicted, Brandon and Rachel McCarthy face up to life in prison.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the case.