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‘Head Shop’ Owner Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges

Federal Courthouse

44 year old Richard Joseph Buswell of Lafayette pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal wire fraud charges in U.S. District Court. Buswell faces up to 20 years in prison, a 1 million dollar fine and restitution. He’s the former owner of a local Curious Goods smoke shop franchise. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote has not set a sentencing date.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley told a news conference Wednesday that Buswell confessed to authorities that he and co-defendant Herbert Fouke created Bowman Investment Group and conducted illegal transactions on the New York Stock Exchange for four years, beginning in 2006. Fouke has entered a not guilty plea. He’s scheduled for trial in February.

“Buswell admitted that he engaged in a scheme in order to defraud his clients by making false representations and promises to them in order to obtain economic benefit for himself.”  – U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley

Buswell pleaded guilty Friday, in a separate case, to conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana. They marketed the product as “Mr. Miyagi.” Finley says Buswell admitted he and other conspirators earned 5 million dollars selling the controlled substance. The drug was labeled as potpourri, “Not for human consumption.” Buswell’s trial in this case is set for March 21, next year.

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