That information came to IND Monthly from Lance Dyer of Bremen, Ga. Dyer is involved in the federal case as a witness, and as the father of 14-year-old Dakota Dyer — so far, the only confirmed victim of “Mr. Miyagi.” Dyer contacted IND Monthly Tuesday afternoon, saying he was just informed by a federal agent that Joshua Espinoza and Boyd Anthony Barrow, both of Georgia, had pleaded guilty around 1 p.m.
|Boyd Anthony Barrow|
IND Monthly left voice mails and sent emails to Collin Simms, the lead prosecutor in the case, and Mona Hardwick, the communications director for U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office. As of this morning’s deadline, neither Simms nor Hardwick had responded.
Barrow and Espinoza owned and operated Pinnacle Products, based out of Marieta, Ga. They represent the tie between Curious Goods and NutraGenomics, the Atlanta-based company operated by Drew Green and Tommy Malone Jr.
Green and Malone, also from Georgia, pleaded guilty in September. According to court documents, Barrow and Espinoza obtained a range of synthetic chemical substances from NutraGenomics. Barrow and Espinoza mixed those chemicals with various herbal blends to make their line of Mr. Miyagi products; synthetic marijuana advertised as a non-ingestible air-freshener or “Potpourri.”
“The dominos are starting to fall,” says Dyer, who is awaiting his chance to give a victim impact statement during the January sentencing hearings for Green and Malone.
“They’re getting scared,” he says. “Four have now fallen, and that only leaves one more guy here in Atlanta, one in Florida, and the three from Lafayette.”
The five remaining defendants include Dan Francis of Atlanta, Ga., Alexander Derrick Reece of Gainesville, Fla., Curious Goods owner Richard Buswell of Lafayette, Carencro attorney and Buswell’s business partner Barry Domingue, and Lafayette criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford.
Stanford has been the subject of IND Monthly’s previous coverage of the conspiracy. He confirmed Dyer's information on Barrow and Espinoza's guilty pleas, and says he has no plans to follow their lead.
Stanford’s text messaged response: "TRIAL!!!! NO COMPROMISE OR PLEAS. I DID NOTHING ILLEGAL!!!!"
That will require waiting for about eight months, as the trial for Stanford and the four remaining co-defendants will not get under way until at least mid-July.
Though IND Monthly has yet to receive an official copy of Barrow and Espinoza's plea agreement, if it is the same as the one signed by Green and Malone in September, for which copies are available, that means they will only be charged with one count of distribution as opposed to the 17 counts of conspiracy included in the original grand jury indictment. And according to the deal signed by Green and Malone, that includes cooperating in the federal government's case against the remaining defendants.